Grammatical sketch of Teotepec Chatino
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Teotepec Chatino is a Zapotecan language of the Otomanguean stock, spoken in the Southeastern Sierra Madre, in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Although other varieties of the Chatino language family have been described - Panixtlahuaca (Pride, 1963; Pride and Pride, 2004), Yaitepec (Rasch, 2002), Quiahije (Cruz, E, 2004; Cruz, E. et al., 2008), Tataltepec (Pride and Pride, 1970; Pride, 1984), Zacatepec (Villard, 2008), Zenzontepec (Campbell, 2009; Carleton, 2000) - there are no previous descriptions of Teotepec Chatino. Among the many interesting features of Teotepec Chatino is an inventory of twelve lexical tones. These tones distinguish between lexical items and have grammatical func- tions. The basic word order is VSO, however the language exhibits the alternative orders of SVO and OVS. These orders have specific semantic and pragmatic functions. The language has aspectual prefixes and some derivational patterns. There is verbal and nominal com- pounding which plays an important role in the formation of complex concepts. Animate direct objects are optionally marked by 7įᴿ ‘to’. The presence or absence of this marker with nominal constituents encodes whether an object is alienably or inalienably possessed. Teotepec Chatino has a vigesimal number system - a common areal feature of other languages in the region. There is a complex set of motion verbs that encode spatial orientation and reference. There are several constructions that result in complex sentences. These include relative clauses, complement clauses, adverbial clauses and conjunctions. There are a number of interesting temporal adverbs that are used to define different time events. The description and analysis of these aspects of Teotepec Chatino is based on data gathered through elicitation and oral texts. This work is a preliminary sketch of the language and should not be considered exhaustive.