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La morphologie dans ALTO (Atlas Linguistique du Tseltal Occidental) : Réseau dialectal et systèmes à décideurs multiples

Abstract : The ALTO project (Atlas Lingüístico del Tseltal Occidental), dedicated to a survey of the 17 main varieties of Western Tseltal (Western Mayan) in the Chiapas Highlands, in South-western Mexico, is part of a CIESAS-SURESTE (Chiapas, Mx) broader project in documentary linguistics, namely Documenting Endangered Tseltal Cultural Activities, an Ethnographic and Discursive Audiovisual Corpus (DETCA), within the framework of the SOAS Hans Rausing Endangered Language Project. This paper provides first hand data gathered in 2008 with a question list of 92 items (out of the ALTO fieldwork procedure, which includes separate questionnaires on phonology, lexicon and morphosyntax) and from texts and conversations from the DETCA project. A survey of 19 variables, ranging from ergative structures and the ATM complex to agreement marking, exclusive and inclusive inflection to directional clitics, leads to a thorough revision of current classifications of Tseltal dialects. We assume that instead of a threefold division between northern, central and southern Tseltal, a detailed typological analysis of grammatical patterns in the Tseltal dialect network, from both a quantitative (based on a Similarity Index processing of the typological matrix) and a qualitative point of view (comparing variational patterns in the matrix), enhances the indiosyncrasy of the northern dialect, as opposed to an intricate cluster of central varieties, and to an erratic dialect area in the south. Moreover, varieties are further classified according to their systemic profiles as median (i.e. central), intermediate (i.e. of the bridging type) or idiomorphic (i.e. idiosyncrasic) types. These claims turn out to be challenging for dialect typology, dialect classification and geolinguistics from a theoretical standpoint.
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Gilles Polian, Jean Léonard. La morphologie dans ALTO (Atlas Linguistique du Tseltal Occidental) : Réseau dialectal et systèmes à décideurs multiples. Géolinguistique, Ellug, Grenoble puis UGA Éditions, 2009, pp.149-201. ⟨halshs-00682294⟩

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