CLEFTS IN OTOMI: EXTENDED USES OF THE COPULAR CONSTRUCTION

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January 1, 2018

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Enrique Palancar, « CLEFTS IN OTOMI: EXTENDED USES OF THE COPULAR CONSTRUCTION », Hyper Article en Ligne - Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société, ID : 10670/1.qx0l5u


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Abstract En

In this article, I study clefts in Otomi, a small family of languages of Mexico from the Oto-Manguean stock. Clefts represent an area of Otomi syntax that has not been previously reported on. I compare the clefts we find in two very different languages: Tilapa Otomi and Northern Otomi. Clefts in Otomi are based on the copular construction and have three typologically expected elements (i.e., a copula, a focus phrase and a relative-like clause encoding the common ground), but they also have two elements that are unique to Otomi: a pronominal enclitic that cross-references the focus phrase and a focus pronoun. The former is a property of the copular construction, but the latter only occurs in clefts. Clefts in Otomi also display a great amount of surface variation in natural discourse. In the article, I also explore the diachrony of the system by studying the historical sources from the Colonial period.

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