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Amazonian languages: Major families, linguistic areas, and grammatical topics


Amazonian languages: Major families, linguistic areas, and grammatical topics

This course will introduce participants to the linguistic diversity of Amazonia, the major genealogical and areal groupings of the region, and linguistic phenomena of broader theoretical interest found in Amazonian languages. We will begin with an overview of the geographical distribution, classification, and grammatical characteristics of the major Amazonian language families, followed by a more detailed examination of the most geographically-dispered South American language family: Arawak. We will also discuss the evidence for several linguistic areas in Amazonia, with a focus on the Vaupés Linguistic Area and its implications for theories of language contact. We will then focus on several typologically-interesting characteristics found in Amazonian languages, including mixed stress-tone systems, evidentiality, associated motion systems, restricted numeral systems, and noun classifiers.

Course Status: Closed

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First two-week Session


10:30 am-12:20 pm
10:30 am-12:20 pm




Coursework equivalent at least to an advanced undergraduate linguistics major.