Possession in Nanti

Lev Michael

in Possession and Ownership

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660223
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745096 | DOI:

Series: Explorations in Linguistic Typology

Possession in Nanti

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This chapter describes possession in Nanti, a Peruvian Amazonian language belonging to the Kampan subgroup of the Arawak family. Nanti is a strongly head-marking language with extensive verbal morphology and limited nominal morphology. Nanti possessive constructions are among most functionally restrictive of those surveyed in the volume, being limited to expressing ownership, kinship, and part-whole relationships. In contrast, Nanti exhibits a number of verbal means of expressing semantic relationships often expressed using possessive constructions in more dependent-marking languages, including applicative, denominal verbal derivational, and noun incorporation constructions. Recent changes in the semantics of possession in Nanti due to contact with Peruvian mestizo society, in particular the possessability of land, is also discussed.

Keywords: Arawak; Kampan languages; Amazonia; possession; head-marking; noun incorporation; cultural change

Chapter.  5700 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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