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Abstract

Abstract

Tariana, an Arawak language from Brazil, has nominal markers which convey temporal and aspectual information about the noun phrase. Besides nominal future, there is a distinction between completed and non-completed nominal pasts. The completed nominal past has three meanings – decessive (‘late, gone’), temporal (‘former’), and commiserative or deprecatory (‘poor thing’). The latter is only applicable to humans and higher animates. The non-completed nominal past has a further semantic component of relevance of the state or property for the present time. The usage of the markers is governed by the principle of communicative necessity – in contrast to clausal, or propositional, tense-cum-evidentiality markers which are always obligatory. Having special means for expressing tense, aspect and relevance within a noun phrase – distinct from tense and aspect categories with clausal scope – constitutes a typologically rare feature of the language.

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2021-02-23
2021-02-28
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: Tariana; decessive meaning; nominal tense; relevance; Arawak languages
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