The imperfective space in Tlacochahuaya Zapotec




Plumb, May Helena

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This paper focuses on imperfective TAM (tense-aspect-mood) categories in Tlacochahuaya Zapotec, an Otomanguean language indigenous to the Tlacolula Valley in Oaxaca, Mexico. While the inflectional TAM morphology of Zapotec languages has been broadly described, both synchronically and diachronically, the semantics of these TAM categories is less robustly analyzed. This paper is the first step in my larger research plan to holistically describe the Tlacochahuaya Zapotec TAM system. The goal is to contribute to the descriptive literature on Zapotec languages and to provide a basis for meaningful diachronic studies of Zapotec TAM, which in turn would contribute to our typological understanding of TAM systems and semantic change.

I approach Tlacochahuaya Zapotec imperfectives from three angles: (i) by considering the five imperfective TAM categories together to see how they delinate semantic (Aktionsart-based) verb categories (Chapter 2); (ii) by summarizing all the semantic contexts in which a single TAM category, the Imperfect r-, appears (Chapter 3); and (iii) by synthesizing analyses of imperfectives across Zapotec languages to probe the Proto-Zapotec system (Chapter 4). I conclude in Chapter 5.



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