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Complex questions in Brazilian Indigenous languages: a comparative study between Karitiana and Kadiwéu

Grant number: 19/11661-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2020
Effective date (End): December 07, 2020
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal Investigator:Maria Filomena Spatti Sandalo
Grantee:Karin Camolese Vivanco
Host Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The goal of this project is to investigate two types of complex questions (indirect questions and long-distance questions) in Karitiana (Tupi) and Kadiwéu (Guaikuru). Indirect questions are a subtype of question subordinated to a matrix clause (e.g., "I want to know when you went to the beach."), whereas long-distance questions have an interrogative pronoun as a constituent of the embedded clause (e.g., "What do you think that Mary bought?"). By investigating these constructions, we intend to extend the knowledge of these grammars and also to contribute to a theoretical and typological discussion on the nature of embedded clauses in indigenous languages of Brazil. Specifically, we will investigate how the presence of prototipical verbal heads and the absence of nominal morphology may affect the formation of bi-clausal questions. This discussion will be based on a comparison between Karitiana and Kadiwéu, which exhibit different morphossyntactic traits: whereas Karitiana has nominalized embedded clauses, subordinate clauses in Kadiwéu retain all clausal heads. Our goal is then to verify whether these trais could imply in different strategies for indirect and long-distance questions in each of these languages. To investigate this topic, complete paradigms of each of these constructions will be collected, as they are rarely described for indigenous languages due to their structural complexity. (AU)

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