Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

J. Albert Bickford


This thesis provides a description of the morphology and syntax of Dəməna, a Chibchan language of northern Colombia. Dəməna is an SOV language with postpositions and genitive-nominal, noun-adjective word orders.

Unusual features of Dəməna include: case marking suffixes which occur as phrasal affixes, a fusion of person marking and deixis in verbal suffixes, and interaction of temporal and special deixis on question suffixes.

Dəməna exhibits more agreement than would be expected. Causative constructions may contain two different direct object person agreement prefixes side by side on a single verb. In cases of advancement to direct object, the same argument may be referenced by two different agreement markers.

This study was carried out by interviewing speakers of Dəməna in Avingüi and Santa Marta. Part of the process was to study research done in related languages and test the claims for Dəməna.

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