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Hammink Linguistics 504 May 6, 2010
1. Introduction The South American language of Guaraní is one of the most widely spoken1 and described indigenous languages of the Americas. Despite its ubiquitousness, Guaraní syntax is seldom examined within a generative framework. In this paper, I will present some puzzling aspects of Guaraní morphosyntax and demonstrate how theory independently proposed by Jelinek (1984) for Warlpiri might also provide an explanation for the variation in Guaraní word order, as well as for a split pattern of person agreement in Guaraní intransitive verbs. I will present these phenomena in section 2, then describe Jelinek’s Pronominal Argument Hypothesis (PAH) in section 3. Finally, in section 4 I will examine whether the predictions that the PAH makes for Guaraní are borne out by the linguistic evidence. 2. Guaraní Guaraní is a Tupian language2 spoken in Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina. In Paraguay, Guaraní has been in contact with Spanish and Portuguese for almost 500 years. Typologically, it can be considered a head-marking agglutinative language (Trinidad Sanabria, 1998) with productive processes of both noun (Velazquez Castillo, 1996) and verb (Hammink, 2006) incorporation. Guaraní employs postpositions to indicate indirect objects, but does not otherwise overtly mark NPs for case. In addition, Guaraní demonstrates a variable constituent order and variation in the argument marking pattern of verbs. These phenomena are relevant to the PAH, and they will be described in the following sections. 2.1 Word Order There is weak consensus on word order in Guaraní: Gregores and Suárez (1967) and Colijn (2007) argue for a S V (IO) O order, but Gregores and Suárez note that such an order is a preference, rather than a rule, and the corpus data from Colijn demonstrates that the position of subjects, especially, can vary a great deal: in sentences with transitive verbs, the overt subject appears with nearly equal frequency in pre- and post-verbal positions, while intransitive subjects demonstrate only a slight preference for a preverbal position. The sentence in (1) is an example of a transitive verb with a postverbal subject and an object that is only represented with a person agreement marker on the verb, but not with an overt nominal: 1. xe-jopi peteî kava 1SG-sting one bee ‘A bee stung me.’ (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) 2.1.1 Subject/Object drop Although subject nominals are very frequently missing from Guaraní sentences, as in (2), neither subject nor object must be represented by an independent overt nominal in the sentence. 2. a-ha-se la-seyõra 1SG-go-want madam ‘I want to go, madam’ (Gregores & Suárez, 1967)
The Paraguayan variety is spoken by nearly 5 million people. Sometimes described as a macrolanguage that subsumes several dialects spoken in different areas, including Mbyá, Chiripá, Ñandeva, Aché, and Paraguayan Guaraní. (Grimes, et al., 1996)
3. a-prepará-ta yane-ve tempráno porã la-seyõra 1SG-prepare-FUT us-PP.for early well madam ‘I will prepare (food) for us very early, madam’ (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) The sentence in (3) is glossed by Gregores and Suárez as transitive with the object ‘things’ which in context refers to ‘food’, yet no overt morphology represents an object, either as an agreement marker or as an independent nominal. This ‘object drop’ is common in Guaraní, and as Choi (2000) observes, in Paraguayan Spanish as well, a phenomenon that she ascribes to prolonged contact with Guaraní. 2.2 Split Intransitivity Split intransitivity refers to a difference in the marking of the arguments of intransitive verbs in some languages. vanValin describes one set of intransitive verbs as marking only a subject, and another set as marking only a direct object. Split intransitivity considers the difference in argument marking to have a semantic basis. Intransitive verbs in Guaraní fall into two classes, which are distinguished by the class of person agreement morphology that each verb type may take. Transitive verbs use the same two classes of agreement morphology to mark either grammatical subjects or objects, according to a “person hierarchy” frequently described in grammars of Guaraní. Mithun (1991) attributes the differences in the Guarani split intransitive system to lexical aspect, or Aktionsart. 2.2.1 Person Agreement Morphology Guaraní has two sets of verbal affixes that indicate agreement with one of the verb's arguments. In descriptive grammars, these morphemes are considered to represent agreement with a verb’s argument, rather than being the arguments themselves. The two classes of person agreement markers are listed below: Class I a/aireo/oija/ña3ropeo/oiClass II xendei/ij/iññandeorependei/ij/iñ-
1SG 2SG 3SG 1PL Incl. 1PL Excl. 2PL 3PL
Table 1: Guaraní verbal person agreement markers
When morphemes appear in pairs, the second is used in nasal environments.
2.2.2 Subject agreement Class I agreement prefixes can be used to indicate verb agreement with the subject of transitive verbs, as in (x): 4. ai-pyhy- ta 1SG-catch-FUT 'I will catch the vixen' aguará -pe vixen- PP.to (Gregores & Suárez, 1967)
They can also indicate subject agreement in some intransitive verbs, as in (x): 5. jaguarete'i o-sê ij-yvykua -gui tiger.DIM 3-exit 3POSS-burrow-PP.from 'The tiger came out from his burrow' (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) 2.2.3 Object agreement In addition, Guaraní has a person hierarchy (x) that triggers object agreement in transitive verbs, when the object is more prominent in the hierarchy than the subject, as in (x). Object agreement is indicated by the use of an agreement marker from Class II, and there is no overt representation of the 3rd person subject when object marking is triggered: 6. Person hierarchy: 1st Person > 2nd Person > 3rd Person4 7. xe- ʔu- ta- hĩna 1SG-eat-FUT-PROG 'He will be eating me' (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) Class II agreement markers can also be used with a second class of intransitive verbs, as in (x): 8. xe- manduʔa 1SG- remember 'I remember' (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) Class II agreement markers are also present in deadjectival and some denominal predicative constructions, as in (x) and (x) respectively: 9. ij-akî- ma xe-ao amã- mê 3-wet-completely 1SG.POSS-clothing rain-PP.with 'My clothing is completely wet with the rain' (Gregores & Suárez, 1967)
Jelinek and Demers (1994; 704) describe a similar person hierarchy in the PA language of Straits Salish. They describe the hierarchy in terms of local and nonlocal arguments, where local arguments are the 1st and 2nd person, and nonlocal arguments are 3rd person. Person Hierarchy: *nonlocal agents > local patients [*3 > 1,2] Jelinek and Demers observe that sentences where a nonlocal agent is acting upon a local patient are prohibited. Instead, a passive construction must be used.
10. (Xe) xe-kyse-ta (I) 1SG-knife-FUT 'I will have a knife' (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) The difference between intransitive verbs that take Class I person markers, like (x), and those intransitives which take Class II person markers, like (x) and (x), has generally been ascribed to semantics. In a later section of this paper a syntactic explanation will be proposed for the two types of intransitive verb. Finally, Class II agreement markers can also indicate possession in a DP, as in (x): 11. i-py ha i-po –gui 3POSS-foot AND 3POSS-hand -PP.from 'From his feet and his hands' (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) 3. Pronominal Argument Hypothesis 3.1 Jelinek’s Pronominal Argument Hypothesis Jelinek (1984) observed that some properties of the language Warlpiri could be explained best by considering the clitic pronouns/ agreement markers attached to the AUX to be the arguments of the verb. Separate noun phrases, when present, are adjoined in non-argument positions, to indicate topic or focus (Jelinek, 2006). The fact that Warlpiri has two different Case-marking systems for independent nouns and for clitics Jelinek takes as support for the PAH: she proposes that the true arguments of the verb, the clitic pronouns, are case-marked as NOM or ACC in a system she calls G-case5, while adjoined nominals are marked with non-argumental Case (for example, as the object of a preposition)that follows an ERG/ABS pattern, and which Jelinek calls L-case. Jelinek adds that there may be PAH languages which do not mark non-argumental nominals for case at all, but maintain the Gcase system for the clitic arguments. Jelinek (2006) describes three diagnostics for PA languages: the absence of pro-drop, casemarking differences between pronominal arguments and adjoined nominals, and the absence of determiner quantification. The absence of pro-drop is the result of the lack of agreement in PA languages. The pronominal affixes on the verb are always unstressed, and, Jelinek argues, are topical: referring to old information. Reflexives in PA languages are also always unstressed, as they are in pronominal object positions, and therefore topical as well. Independent pronouns, when present, indicate contrastive topic and focus and therefore can be stressed. Case-marking differences arise from the different positions of pronominal arguments, in Apositions, and DPs in A’-positions. As a result, PA languages mark pronominal arguments with G-case, and DPs with L-case. Alternately, adjunct DPs may not be marked for case at all. If the
G-case and L-case are adapted from Hale (1983) in which G-case refers to ‘grammatical’ case that occurs with arguments, and L-case to ‘lexical’ case that occurs with non-arguments.
same Case-marking system can be used for both pronominal arguments and DPs, the the language cannot be considered to be a pronominal argument language. Finally, Jelinek (2006) observes that the PA languages she analyzes in that paper have adverbial quantification, but no determiner quantification. DPs in PA languages have a default definite interpretation and are not in A-positions, while determiner quantifiers are associated with indefinite nouns in A-positions. Additional morphology is used in some PA languages to indicate the indefiniteness of a noun; otherwise an indefinite interpretation is only possible in existential sentences. Jelinek (2006) mentions, but does not examine one other feature of PA languages which may be of interest in an analysis of Guaraní. Head-movement- derived noun incorporation is impossible in PA languages because, in such languages, DPs are never in the A-positions from which movement is permitted to occur. Jelinek does recognize that in some PA languages a small class of nouns exists that may appear in the verb complex as if they were pronominal affixes. 3.2 Hale Like Jelinek, Hale (2003) argues that the only arguments of the verb in a PA language are the pronominal affixes on the verb. Hale extended the PAH by arguing that the order of affixes on a ‘verb –word’ was exclusively the result of Merge, and that head movement was not necessary to his version of the PAH. Hale observes that a non-movement account is more minimalist in spirit in that it does not propose head movement that it would then need to motivate. Hale also described the contrast between two types of intransitive verb: unaccusative and unergative, with an elaborated VP structure. Hale (2003) and Hale & Keyser (1993, 2002) describe the contrast between intransitive verbs as a difference in the location of the single argument: if the argument is internal to the VP, then the verb is said to be unaccusative (or ergative); if the argument is external to VP, in [Spec, vP], then the verb is said to be unergative. Theta roles are entirely structurally determined in Hale & Keyser’s theory, and because argument positions are limited, the inventory of possible theta roles is limited as well. The structure of the unaccusative is shown in (12a) and the unergative in (12b): 12. a. v pronoun R v V V V b. pronoun v R v v V V
In (12), the lexical verb consists of a root R that, in the case of (12a) projects a specifier in V, while in the case of (12b), Hale argues that the root is nominal, and therefore cannot project a specifier. The result is that the pronominal affix of an unaccusative verb is an argument internal to the lexical V, while the pronominal affix on an unergative verb is external to it, in [Spec, vP]. The theta role of the argument in (12a) may be interpreted as ‘theme,’ and that of (12b) as ‘agent.’ Hammink 6
3.3 Predictions for Guaraní Jelinek and Hale make specific predictions for the behavior of a PA language. In order to establish that Guaraní is a PA language, it will be necessary to demonstrate the following evidence of pronominal arguments: obligatory argument morphology on the verb, and optional presence of independent DPs; phonologically null morphemes with fixed φ-features rather than pro-type agreement; and adverbial, rather than determiner, quantification. Because independent DPs are adjoined in A’-positions, their order relative to the verb complex should be able to vary. Therefore, Guaraní should demonstrate a relatively free DP order if those DPs are in fact adjuncts. In addition, the adjoined position of these DPs should prohibit noun incorporation derived via head movement. If a PA account of Guaraní can be established, it will serve to explain the contrast between Class I intransitive verbs like (5) and Class II intransitives like (8) (as well as (9) and (10)). The differences in these verb classes could be described as the contrast between the case marking of the single arguments of unaccusative and unergative verbs, reflecting the position of those arguments in the syntax. 4. Guaraní as a Pronominal Argument language The PAH analysis can be applied to Guaraní if we consider the person-agreement markers listed in Table 1 to be clitic pronouns which realize the arguments required by a verb. In sentences like those in (5) and (8) above, such an analysis would be straightforward. The grammatical of the intransitive verb represented by overt verbal morphology, and no other NPs are required. If present, additional NPs would be in various adjoined positions, leading to the appearance of a “free” argument order in such sentences. Two problems remain for this analysis. First, transitive verbs are not always marked with overt morphology that references both arguments, as may be observed in (3) and (7). Second, the PAH as it stands does not explain why there should be two classes of intransitive verbs with different systems for marking arguments. In the following sections, I will present further evidence supporting a PAH analysis of Guaraní in three areas: obligatory argument morphology on the verb in section 4.1, variable DP order in section 4.2, and, finally, the unergative/unaccusative classes of Guaraní intransitive verbs in section 4.3. 4.1 Additional Object Morphology There are several other morphemes in Guaraní that indicate person relationships. There are two portmanteau morphemes that indicate a first-person subject and a second-person object. There are also morphemes that represent an unspecified object ‘someone’ or ‘something,’ and morphemes for reflexive and reciprocal actions. These are summarized in Table 2, with examples of their use following.
Gloss 1st person singular subject > 2nd singular object 1st person plural subject > 2nd plural object Reflexive / passive Reciprocal Unspecified human plural object Unspecified nonhuman plural object
Table 2: Other person agreement markers
The morphemes ro- and po- can be used in place of other person agreement morphology on transitive verbs to indicate that a first person subject performs the action of the verb upon the 3rd person object, as shown in (13) and (14): 13. ropeté 1SG.2SG- slap ‘I slap you’ 14. popeté 1PL.2SG- slap ‘We slap you’ (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) A reflexive action can be expressed with the morpheme je/ñe. The same morpheme in the same position can also be interpreted as a passive construction. As a result, sentences like (15) can receive either a reflexive or a passive reading: 15. a-jejokua yvyra-rehe 1SG-RF- tie tree-PP ‘I tie myself to a tree’/ ‘I am tied to a tree’ (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) Note that in (15), there is no NP external to the verb that refers to an actor. The same is true for reciprocal sentences like (16) 16. ja-jopytyvo 1PLi-RC- help ‘We help each other’ (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) An object can be marked on the verb even when it is a vague ‘someone’ or ‘something.’ The morphemes poro and mba’e, in the same second position as the reflexive and reciprocal, express that the object is undefined or general: 17. a-poropytyvo 1SG-UO.human- help ‘I help someone’ / ‘I help people (in general)’ (Ayala, 1993) All the morphemes explained in (13) - (17) above occur on transitive verbs. While overt nominals may co-occur in the Guaraní sentence, they are not required. This suggests that it is the Hammink 8
person morphology on the verb which functions as the argument(s) of the sentence, rather than any independent NP that may also be present. Jelinek (1984) observed a similar pattern in Warlpiri, and proposed the ‘Pronominal Argument Hypothesis (PAH) as an explanation. In the next section, I will review the PAH and discuss how it may be useful for explaining some of the characteristics of Guaraní. 4.1.1 Object markers In section 1, the various classes of Guaraní person markers were outlined, and it was demonstrated that Guaraní has a robust system for indicating the arguments of a verb. In certain conditions, both subject and object can be marked with verbal morphology, as can be seen in section 1.3. When this occurs, either the subject and object are combined into a portmanteau morpheme, as in (13) and (14), or else the reflexive, reciprocal or unspecified object marker follows the subject marker, as in (15-17). The order of person agreement morphology relative to the verb is as in (18), where (a) shows the order of independent subject and object morphemes, and (b) shows the placement of portmanteau forms: a. b. Subject Object Subject + Object Verb 18.
4.1.2 Noun incorporation6 What has not yet been established is whether this person marking morphology indicates agreement with independent nominal argument external to the verb, or whether the person markers are themselves the clitic pronoun arguments, as proposed in the PAH. One piece of evidence that supports the second hypothesis is the possibility of object noun incorporation, as described by Velazquez-Castillo (1996). Some bare nominals can appear in the second position that is sometimes occupied by a reflexive, reciprocal, or unspecified object, as in (19a). Generally, these nouns are body part terms, as in (19b), but non-body-part nouns can also appear in this construction, as shown in (19c). The examples and glosses are from Velazquez-Castillo (1996): 19. a. amba’ejogua-ta 1SG- UO.thingbuy-FUT ‘I’ll go shopping this afternoon’ b. ai-po-peté 1SG-hand-slap ‘I slap the child in the hand’ ko-ka’aru this-afternoon la-mitã the-child
c. a-vaka-ami-ta ko-pyhareve 1SG-cow-milk-FUT this-morning ‘I’ll do some milking this morning’
I use the term ‘incorporation’ without assuming, after Baker (1988), that the “incorporation” described here is the result of head movement. Instead, I follow Hale (2003) who argues that the PAH is a non-movement system in which the order of pronominal arguments is the result of external Merge.
Velazquez-Castillo observes that a sentence like (19c) has an unincorporated alternative like (20), in which it appears that the noun vaka ‘cow’ has not been incorporated by the verb. 20. A-ñami-ta pe-vaka 1SG-milk-FUT that-cow ‘I’ll milk that white cow.’ moroti white
If the sentences in (19) represent transitive verbs with two pronominal arguments, they should pattern with transitive verbs when combining with additional morphology that is sensitive to transitivity. Velazquez-Castillo describes two such morphological tests of transitivity: the causative morphemes mbo- and uka- and the nominalizer/reflexive/passivizer je/ñe. 4.1.3 Tests for transitivity 184.108.40.206 Causation as a test of transitivity Guaraní has two causative verbal affixes, mbo- and -uka. The first is used with intransitive verbs, and results in a transitive verb. The second is used with transitive verbs, including those that have been transitivized by the first. Therefore, these affixes can be used to assess whether a verb with an incorporated object, such as (19a) is treated as transitive or intransitive within the grammar. Velazquez-Castillo reports that native-speaker acceptability judgments varied for structures like (21a) and (21b), but that overall, native speakers did not fully accept either structure. 21. a. ?? mba’e-jogua-uka b. ?? mo-mba’e-jogua ‘Cause (someone) to buy things’ ‘Cause (someone) to shop’ (Velazquez-Castillo, 1996)
This is problematic for a PAH analysis of Guaraní in that it does not clearly demonstrate that sentences like (19 a-c) are transitive verbs with an incorporated object. It is possible that speakers of Paraguayan Guaraní vary in their interpretation of such structures, with some speakers treating a sequence like mba’e-jogua as a lexicalized intransitive verb, while others view the same sequence as a transitive verb with an incorporated object. In section 4.1.4 I will review some historical evidence that Guaraní used to have a very robust object-marking system that has diminished over time. It may be that some Guaraní speakers are reanalyzing transitive constructions as a result of the reduction of the object-marking system. 220.127.116.11 Nominalization as a test of transitivity Velazquez-Castillo proposes another test for transitivity in the form of the affix je/ñe. She describes this morpheme as a nominalizer that only combines with transitive verbs, but as can be observed from the table and discussion in 1.3, this morpheme can also be analyzed as a reflexive pronominal argument that serves as the object of a transitive verb. Velazquez-Castillo observes that je/ñe cannot combine with verbs that, like (19a) have incorporated their object, as in (22): 22. *ñeNMN/RF ‘shopping’ mba’e-jogua UO.thing-buy (Velazquez-Castillo, 1996)
Velazquez-Castillo argues that this construction is not permitted because the verb with its incorporated object is underlyingly intransitive. However, if we assume, as I have suggested, that je/ñe is a pronominal object, then the reasons for the ungrammaticality of (22) have a different motivation: ñe and mba’e are both in an object position, so one of them is unlicensed. 4.1.4 Gaps in the paradigm Modern dialects of Guaraní seem to lack a 2nd and 3rd person object agreement marker. Accounting for these gaps in the object agreement paradigm would strengthen the analysis of Guaraní as a PAH language in which all arguments of the verb are represented by pronominal clitics. 18.104.22.168 Historical/comparative evidence for object argument markers Jensen (1987) demonstrates that a 3rd person object prefix can be reconstructed for proto TupiGuaraní (PTG). This object prefix *i- or y- appeared between the subject prefix and the verb. Although this object prefix is not used productively in modern Guaraní, its position can be observed in the so-called aireal verbs: transitive verbs whose person agreement prefix consists of a Class I person marker followed by the phoneme /i/: 23. a. ai-kytĩ b. oi-su’u ‘I cut (something)’ (Canese & Decoud Larrosa, 1983) ‘He/she/it bites (something)’ (Guasch, 1996)
Interestingly, Canese and Decoud Larrosa observe that when the person hierarchy triggers object agreement, the phoneme /i/ disappears, as would be expected if both /i/ and the Class II person marker indicate grammatical object: 24. (ha’e) ne-pytyvõ ‘(he/she/it) helps you’ (Canese & Decoud Larrosa, 1983) Jensen demonstrates that some non-aireal verbs also bear evidence of the object agreement marker. The modern Guaraní verb japo is the result of the reanalysis of the object marker as part of the verb. In (25) the PTG sentence in (a) has become the modern Guaraní sentence in (b): 25. a. b. a-y-apo 1SG-3-do/make Reconstructed PTG
a-japo Modern Guaraní 1SG-do/make ‘I do/make (it)’ (Jensen, 1987)
4.1.5 A summary of pronominal argument marking in Guaraní In the previous sections, it has been demonstrated that Guaraní has a number of processes available for marking both subject and object arguments directly on the verb through the use of person markers. These argument-marking patterns are summarized in Table (x) below:
Subject Person 1
Object Person Subject Marking 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 Class I ro/po portmanteau Class I
je/jo reflexive/reciprocal ro/po portmanteau poro/mba'e unspecified object noun incorporation (PTG object prefix) Ø Ø Person Hierarchy Class II Class I je/jo reflexive/reciprocal Class I poro/mba'e unspecified object noun incorporation (PTG object prefix) Ø Ø Person Hierarchy Class II Ø Person Hierarchy Class II Class I je/jo reflexive/reciprocal poro/mba'e unspecified object noun incorporation (PTG object prefix) Ø
Table 3: Guaraní Pronominal Arguments for transitive verbs
As the summary in Table 3 indicates, there is quite robust argument marking on transitive verbs. In all but one of the cases where no overt argument marking occurs there is no ambiguity, because the null form can only have one interpretation. Thus, a sentence like (3), repeated here as (26), can only have one interpretation: that of a 1st person subject acting upon a 3rd person object: 26. a-prepará-ta yane-ve tempráno porã la-seyõra 1SG-prepare-FUT us-PP early well madam ‘I will prepare (food) for us very early, madam’ (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) In the case of sentences where the person hierarchy is triggered, there is only one situation in which a possible ambiguity may occur. When Class II morphology is used to indicate a 1st person object, the person of the subject may be ambiguous. 27. xe-su’u 1SG-bite ‘You/he bites me’ In Guaraní, disambiguation may optionally occur through the use of an independent pronoun or nominal, as in (1), repeated here as (28): 28. xe-jopi peteî kava 1SG-sting one bee ‘A bee stung me.’ (Gregores & Suárez, 1967)
As observed above, the position of these independent nominals is quite variable, and this variability can be explained by the PAH, if such phrases are considered to be adjuncts, rather than arguments. In the next section, this possibility will be explored. 4.1.6 Definiteness and adverbial quantification Jelinek (2006) describes the distinction between determiner quantification and adverbial quantification with the following examples from English: 29. a. determiner quantification: most children, every child, three children, few children b. adverbial quantification: always work, never work, work often, just work (Jelinek, 2006) Jelinek claims that determiner quantification, as in (29a) should be impossible in PA languages, because such quantification is associated with A-positions, and DPs in PA languages do not appear in such positions. Adverbial quantification is abundant in Guaraní, as in (30): 30. o-ñe’ê ava-ñe’ê-mê mante 3-speak man-speech-PP.in ADV.only They only speak Guaraní. (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) Determiner quantification, as in (29a), is expressed predicatively in Guaraní, as in (31): 31. Heta xe-ryma-kuera a-reko Be.many my-animals-PL 1SG-have I have many animals. (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) Contrary to Jelinek’s prediction for PA languages, Guaraní does allow DPs to contain number quantifiers. In some cases the number peteĩ ‘one’ is used as a marker for indefiniteness, as in (32), while in other cases the number may in fact be a quantifier, as in (33): 32. o-henú peteĩ ayvú 3-hear one noise He heard a noise (Gregores & Suárez, 1967) 33. Mokõi tupasỹ ha Two god.mother CONJ.and Two virgins and a saint. peteĩ one santo saint
This is problematic for a PA analysis of Guaraní. Vieira (1995), in an analysis of the TupiGuarani language of Asurini do Trocará, claimed that despite the evidence in sentences parallel in structure to (33), that numbers like mokõi ‘two’ are not in determiner positions in that language, and that all quantification in Asurini is adverbial.
4.2 An explanation for word order variation The Pronominal Argument Hypothesis was first proposed by Jelinek (1984) as an explanation of the apparent non-configurationality of languages like Warlpiri. By re-analyzing pronominal verbal affixes as verbal arguments and DPs as adjuncts, Jelinek accounted for the variable word order of such languages. Canese and Decoud Larrosa (1983) provide the following examples of synonymous Guaraní sentences with dramatically different word orders: 34. a. b. c. d. kuehe yesterday o- Ø -japo 3-3-make oréve-ĝuarã us-PP.for xe-sy my-mother chipa bread
chipa o- Ø -japo bread 3-3-make o- Ø -japo 3-3-make xe-sy my-mother
oréve-ĝuarã us-PP.for o- Ø -japo 3-3-make
chipa xe-sy bread my-mother kuehe yesterday
chipa oréve-ĝuarã bread us-PP.for
‘Yesterday, my mother made bread for us’ Under the PAH, the independent nominals xe-sy, chipa and oréve-ĝuarã are in non-argument positions, while the pronominal arguments co-referent with xe-sy ‘my mother’ and chipa ‘bread’ are marked on the verb as ‘o-‘ and Ø, respectively. The NOM and ACC case of these pronominal arguments is assigned configurationally, according to Jelinek (1984) and Hale (2003), and in the following section I will examine how the split intransitivity pattern of Guaraní intransitive verbs can be described configurationally. 4.3 Split intransitivity The PAH, especially in the form proposed by Hale (2003) offers an explanation for the so-called split intransitive pattern in Guaraní intransitive verbs. Recall that intransitive verbs in Guaraní take a person marker from either Class I or Class II, and that, under the PAH, these person markers are the pronominal arguments of the verb. Both classes of these pronominal arguments are also used with transitive verbs: Class I when the agentive subject is overtly represented, and Class II when the theme object is overtly represented, in a phenomenon that has been frequently called ‘object agreement.’ The fact that the pronominal arguments of some Guaraní intransitive verbs resemble transitive subjects, or ‘agents,’ while others resemble transitive objects or ‘themes’ suggests that these two types of intransitive argument occupy different positions in the syntax. If we adopt the structures proposed by Hale (2003) shown in (12), then Guaraní structures for both classes of intransitive verbs would be as in (35), where (35a) corresponds to Class II verbs like (8) and (35b) to Class I verbs like (5):
35. a. v pronoun R
v V V’ V
b. pronoun v R
v v V V
Ø xe- manduʔa Ø v 3- memory V ‘I remember’
oØ sê- Ø 3v exit V ‘He/she/it goes out’
In these structures, Hale decomposes the VP into a lexical root R, which is a lexical item of indeterminate grammatical category which merges with a null verbal head V. If the R is predicative, then the V’ will project a specifier position, as seen in (35a). If the R is not predicative, then no specifier position will be projected, as in (35b). These two structures capture the distinction between intransitive Guaraní verbs that has been described in semantic terms as active/stative by Klimov (1974) and Mithun (1991). Verbs which appear to mark their subjects as agentive are those with an external argument, as in (35b), while those which have been described as marking their subject as a stative experiencer are those in which the argument is VP-internal. A potential problem for this account of intransitive Guaraní verbs lies in the causative construction. Guaraní has a causative head mbo-7 which functions as a light verb that introduces an additional argument, resulting in the transitivization of intransitive verbs. 36. a. i-vai xe 3-ugly 1SG.POSS ‘My garden is ugly’ yvotytý garden
yvytu o-mbo-vaí xe yvotytý Wind 3-CAUS-ugly 1SG.POSS garden ‘The wind made my garden ugly’ o-pupu la-y 3-boil water ‘The water boils’ Rodolfo o-mbo-pupu Rodolfo 3-CAUS-boil ‘Rodolfo boils water’ la-y water
Hale (2003) argues that such transitivity alternations should only be possible with unaccusative Class II intransitives like (36) because the VP internal argument of the intransitive verb becomes the theme object of the verb complex, when transitivized with mbo-. Because the argument of
mo- in nasal environments.
(37) is in [Spec, vP], it will not be a part of the verb complex if the verb is transitivized with mbo- . Hale claims that the position of the argument is what prevents unergatives like (35b) and (37) from entering into transitivity alternations parallel to those of unaccusatives, as in (36). 38. a. v pronoun v pronoun R v’ V V’ V pronoun v R v v V V b.
a- mo- Ø - manduʔa Ø 3-CAUS-3- memory-V ‘I make him remember’
omo-sê- Ø 3CAUS-exit-V ‘He makes (him) go out’
However, both types of causativization are productive in Guaraní. It is possible that the mbohead is merged with the vP, rather than the VP, but the implications of this hypothesis are not immediately evident. If a PA analysis for Guaraní verbs is to be maintained, then the structure of the two classes of intransitive, as well as their causative alternates, should be investigated further. 5. Conclusion and remaining questions In this paper, I have attempted to provide an explanation of the verbal argument structure of Guaraní that could account for the two classes of Guaraní intransitive verbs, as well as for the resemblance between these agreement paradigms and those found in transitive verbs. Applying the Pronominal Argument Hypothesis to Guaraní was able to explain the contrasts in intransitive marking as reflecting the different positions of the pronominal argument relative to the verb. An additional benefit of the PAH analysis was that the ‘free’ word order and optional status of DPs in Guaraní could be attributed to the adjunct status of the DP in the language. Finally, a number of other Guaraní affixes were reanalyzed as pronominal, and in doing so, a more consistent order for Guaraní argument order emerged. The matter of the structure of causativized intransitives remains to be explored, as well as the possibility that prolonged contact with non-PA languages may have resulted in a linguistic shift in some dialects of Guaraní away from pronominal arguments.
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Abbreviations: 1: 1st person 2: 2nd person 3: 3rd person ABS: absolutive case ACC: accusative case ART: article CAUS: causative DIM: diminutive ERG : ergative case Excl.: exclusive FUT: future tense Incl.: inclusive NEG : negative NMN : nominalizer NOM :nominative case PAH : Pronominal Argument Hypothesis PL: plural PLi: plural, inclusive PLe: plural, exclusive POSS: possessive PP: postposition PROG: progressive
PTG: proto-Tupi-Guaraní RC: reciprocal RF: reflexive SC: small clause SG: singular UO: unspecified object
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