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CommandsA Cross-Linguistic Typology$
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Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803225

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803225.001.0001

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Commands in Zenzontepec Chatino (Otomanguean)

Commands in Zenzontepec Chatino (Otomanguean)

(p.106) 5 Commands in Zenzontepec Chatino (Otomanguean)

Eric W. Campbell

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents Zenzontepec Chatino (Otomanguean, Zapotecan) data from naturally occurring discourse and describes the linguistic resources that speakers draw from to express a wide range of command types. Canonical imperatives, addressee-directed commands of basic force, are morphologically complex and display many forms for one category, determined by the inflectional class of the verb. In contrast, all non-canonical directives, those targeting first or third persons or the negative second person directives, are formally simple, all being expressed with Potential Mood inflection (one category for many functions). The full range of command forms and strategies is a reflection of Zenzontepec Chatino grammar more broadly, which has idiosyncratic and prodigiously complex inflectional morphology but formally simple and fluid syntax in discourse. The Imperative Mood category has been previously little studied in Zapotecan languages, and it offers insight into other aspects of the inflectional system and its history.

Keywords:   imperatives, commands, morphological complexity, discourse, Chatino, Zapotecan, Otomanguean

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