On the gradual development of polysynthesis in Nahuatl

Jason D. Haugen

in Grammatical Change

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199582624
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731068 | DOI:
On the gradual development of polysynthesis in Nahuatl

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This chapter discusses the sources for polysynthesis in Nahuatl (Uto–Aztecan). This chapter is structured as follows. Section 16.2 discusses the notion of the ‘polysynthesis parameter’, as presented by Baker (1996), and makes a distinction between subject and object pronominal ‘polysynthesis’, as suggested and rejected by Baker (2001), using evidence from Uto–Aztecan and elsewhere. Section 16.3 gives a brief overview of the structure of Nahuatl, and Sections 16.4 and 16.5 discuss the comparative Uto–Aztecan evidence for the gradual development of subject and object pronominal affixes and syntactic noun incorporation, respectively. Section 16.6 offers a proposal for the various stages of grammaticalization involved in the transition from Proto–Uto–Aztecan (PUA) to polysynthesis in Nahuatl, and Section 16.7 concludes.

Keywords: polysynthesis parameter; Proto–Uto–Aztecan; subject; object; affixes; syntactic noun; grammaticalization

Chapter.  5757 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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