Volume 31, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238



The Chipaya language, an endangered isolate of the Bolivian highlands, has a set of three enclitics, =, = and =, which are coreferential with the subject of a clause but are not necessarily attached to it and are not obligatory. In this paper, I investigate the pragmatic function of these forms. The salience-marking enclitics (henceforth SMEs) occur at paratactic and hypotactic discourse transitions, where they indicate a shift in salience, thereby contributing to creating discourse coherence. Discourse transitions without a shift in salience are not accompanied by the enclitics. Those enclitics that occur at paratactic transitions have scope over at least the segment whose beginning and/or end they occur in, whereas SMEs at hypotactic transitions have scope over the clause they appear in. Use of the SMEs is genre-specific.


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