de Lingüística Chibcha ISSN Impreso: 1409-245X ISSN electrónico: 1409-245X

Cases, directionals and conjunctions in Chibcha

Nicholas Ostler


After a brief account of some known features of Chibcha, section 2 surveys the uses of the principal case-marking suffixes of Muisca, also known as Chibcha. Each of these suffixes has an extremely wide range of meanings, apparently derived from (or at least clustering round) the local senses. (Interestingly, there is no special mark for dynamic source: instead, the marker for static locus is used.) The facts are concisely stated in the theory of participant-roles proposed in Ostler 1979. There is also a large set of complex postpositions, largely derived by combining words for body-parts and the simple case-markers. In 3, these postpositions are set out systematically, and the extent to which non-local postpositions can be derived from local ones is considered. The existence of a small class of pre-verbal adverbials is noted. For the first time, the postpositions listed in Lugo 1619 are identified and interpreted. Each of the case-markers is also used to form a clause-subordinator: either alone, or followed by the topic suffix -n.. Section 4 reviews the full set of Chibcha clause subordinators, considers the semantic relationship between the case-marking and comple-ment-marking uses, and compares it with the generalizations proposed on the basis of Tibeto Burman data by Genetti 1986.

Palabras clave

Lenguas indígenas; lenguas chibchas; sintaxis; casos; direcionales; conjunciones

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