A grammar of Sierra Popoluca (Soteapanec, a Mixe-Zoquean language)
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This dissertation is a comprehensive description of the grammar of Sierra Popoluca (SP, aka Soteapanec), a Mixe-Zoquean language spoken by approximately 28,000 people in Veracruz, Mexico. This grammar begins with an introduction to the language, its language family, a typological overview of the language, a brief history of my fieldwork, and the methodology undertaken in this study. The grammar continues with a description of the phonology of SP, followed by an overview of the word classes, including verbs, nouns, relational nouns/postpositions, adjectives, adverbs, and numbers, and formative types. The bulk of this grammar is devoted to the morphosyntax of Sierra Popoluca, including nouns and nominal morphology, verbs and verbal morphology, and the mechanisms for expressing tense, aspect, mood, and modality. The grammar also describes the complex predicate formation strategies and sentence-level syntax. A compilation of interlinearized texts appears in the appendix. Sierra Popoluca is an agglutinating, polysynthetic, head-marking language with a complex verbal system. It has ergative-absolutive alignment and its grammar is sensitive to animacy and saliency hierarchies, evident in the case marking and `split' plural systems. Its constituent order is verb-initial, although word order is pragmatically determined. Sierra Popoluca has a number of strategies to form complex predicates, which include verb serialization, noun incorporation, and dependent verb constructions. The data available in this grammar contributes a body of data and descriptive analysis to broad theoretical areas of linguistics as well as existing research on the Mixe-Zoquean language family, languages throughout Mesoamerica, and especially the Gulf branch of the Zoquean family.