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Canela dialect

The meaning of «canela dialect»

Canela is a dialect of the Canela-Krahô language, a Timbira variety of the Northern Jê language group (Jê, Macro-Jê) spoken by the Apànjêkra (Apaniêkrá) and by the Mẽmõrtũmre (Ràmkôkãmẽkra, Ramkokamekrá) in Maranhão, Brazil.[2][3]: 11 

In Canela, like in all Northern Jê languages, verbs inflect for finiteness and thus have a basic opposition between a finite form and a nonfinite form. Finite forms are used in matrix clauses only, whereas nonfinite forms are used in all types of subordinate clauses as well as in some matrix clauses (such as recent past clauses and any clauses which contain modal, aspectual, or polar operators).[5]: 450  Nonfinite forms are most often formed via suffixation and/or prefix substitution. Some verbs (including all descriptives with the exception of cato 'to exit', whose nonfinite form is cator) lack an overt finiteness distinction.

The following nonfinite suffixes have been attested: -r (the most common option, found in many transitive and intransitive verbs), -n (found in some transitive verbs), as well as -c and -m (found in a handful of intransitive verbs which take a nominative subject when finite).[5]: 448–9 [6]

In Proto-Northern Jê, a handful of verbs, all of which ended in an underlying stop, formed their finite form by means of leniting the stem-final consonant (*-t, *-c, *-k → *-r, *-j, *-r); in turn, the nonfinite form received no overt marking.[7]: 544  At least three verbs still follow this pattern in Canela.[6]

Different main clause constructions present different combinations of alignment patterns, including split-S (default), ergative–absolutive (recent past), and nominative–absolutive (evaluative, progressive, continuous, completive, and negated clauses). In contrast, subordinate clauses are always ergative–absolutive.

Prototypically, finite matrix clauses in Canela have a split-S alignment pattern, whereby the agents of transitive verbs (A) and the sole arguments of a subclass of intransitive verbs (SA) receive the nominative case (also called agentive case[3]), whereas the patients of transitive verbs (P) and the sole arguments of the remaining intransitive predicates (SP) receive the absolutive case (also called internal case[3]).[5] In addition, transitive verbs are subdivided into two classes according to whether the third person patient is indexed as absolutive (allomorphs h-, ih-, im-, in-, i-, ∅-) or accusative (cu-),[5] which has been described as an instance of a split-P alignment.[3]: 272  There are only several dozen of transitive verbs which take an accusative patient, all of which are monosyllabic and have distinct finite and nonfinite forms. It has been suggested that all transitive verbs which satisfy both conditions (monosyllabicity and a formal finiteness distinction), and only them, select for accusative patients, while all remaining transitive verbs take absolutive patients in Canela and all other Northern Jê languages.[7]: 538 

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