Araucanian: Mapudungun

Mark C. Baker and Carlos A. Fasola

in The Oxford Handbook of Compounding

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199695720
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

Araucanian: Mapudungun

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology
  • Language Families



Mapudungun is the primary member of the small Araucanian family – its greater genetic affiliation is uncertain – and is spoken by some 300,000 Mapuche people in central Chile and adjoining areas of Argentina. Compounding is frequent and productive in Mapudungun, and constitutes an important part of the language's overall polysynthetic quality. Different types of compounds can be distinguished, with some cross-cutting similarities. Perhaps the most interesting theoretical issues raised by compounding in Mapudungun stem from the fact that different ordering principles apply to different kinds of compounds. These principles are at least partly independent of what categories are involved in compounding. This chapter discusses the three most prominent kinds of compounding in Mapudungun – V + N, N + N, and V + V – then briefly considers other sorts of compounds in the language, including those that contain an adjectival root.

Keywords: Mapuche compounds; compounding; verbs; nouns

Article.  5749 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology ; Language Families

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