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Equative and similative constructions in Chibchan languages

Abstract : The objective of this paper is to offer the first description of equative and similative constructions in twelve Chibchan languages focusing on two typological particularities: first, all the languages share the construction with only an equative standard marker. But, although all the Chibchan languages have SOV constituent order, the constituent order in the equative construction is not the same in all the languages. Some languages display the expected order for SOV constituent order languages, that is the standard marker follows the standard and both precede the parameter. But the central Isthmian languages show the reverse order, that is the standard marker occurs after the standard entity and both follow the parameter. Second, the distinction between equative and similative constructions, which is semantically and formally present in European languages, is not attested in most of the Chibchan languages that have only one construction for expressing similarity and equality. Only three languages, Cabecar, Ika and Pesh usually use the construction with similative standard marker for similarity and have another dedicated construction with a degree-marker for equality.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02022391
Contributor : Claudine Chamoreau <>
Submitted on : Sunday, February 17, 2019 - 8:34:00 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, March 7, 2021 - 11:58:18 AM

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Claudine Chamoreau. Equative and similative constructions in Chibchan languages. 2019. ⟨halshs-02022391⟩

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