Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session




From the introduction: "The present paper proposes a preliminary analysis of nominal phrases in Huastec, a Mayan language spoken in the states of Veracruz and San Luís Potosí, Mexico. This analysis is important in that it provides one of the first discussions of phrase structure in Huastec, a language regarded by some authorities as somewhat independent in its development in the Mayan family (for one classification of Huastec, cf. Voeglin and Voeglin (1977:224ff)).

"While earlier studies of Huastec (cf. Walker 1983)) have claimed the basic word order to be VSO, material found in texts has adduced little evidence for this. In fact, the most frequent orders encountered in our Huastec discourse data are SVO and VOS, respectively. Sentences given in isolation by our language consultant and co-author, Abdías Pablo, are exclusively SVO. In any case, it seems that Huastec can safely be considered VO (note that it also has both prepositions and genitive-head noun orders, two statistically common correlates of this basic word order type.) Nevertheless, we leave the question open since its resolution is tangential to the question of noun phrase structure.

"This study is organized as follows: First, a brief outline of the noun morphology is proposed, with indications as to the semantic range and co-occurrence restrictions among the positional classes listed. The second section addresses the facts of constituent order and configuration as well as some derived orders and relative clauses. The study concludes with an overview of pronouns."

Included in

Linguistics Commons