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Rethinking Verb Second$
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Rebecca Woods and Sam Wolfe

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198844303

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198844303.001.0001

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Second and first position in Tohono O’odham auxiliaries

Second and first position in Tohono O’odham auxiliaries

(p.745) 32 Second and first position in Tohono O’odham auxiliaries
Rethinking Verb Second

Colleen M. Fitzgerald

Oxford University Press

The Uto-Aztecan language, Tohono O’odham (formerly Papago), has very free word order, along with a systematic requirement that the auxiliary should surface in second position. The contexts in which this requirement is suspended are argued to open a crucial window on its nature. The chapter contends that prosody and morphophonological considerations that determine the auxiliary placement reflect preferences for consonant-initial and trochaic patterns at the beginnings of clauses. Evidence comes from a class of vowel-initial particles that robustly resist moving to clause-initial position, and the so- called g-determiner, which otherwise occurs with all nouns, including proper nouns, in all other positions is barred where a noun surfaces in clause-initial position. The analysis of prefixed auxiliaries as second position can also be called into question, as they arguably fill the first position and first syllable of the clause. This, then, may be a genuine case of a phonologically conditioned second-position phenomenon.

Keywords:   Tohono O’odham, auxiliary, first position, second position, word order

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