Linguistics Department

Colloquium - Jason D. Haugen (Oberlin College) "Derived Verbs of Possession in Uto-Aztecan"

Mon, February 11, 2013 | CLA 1.302B

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM


Jason Haugen is a candidate for a position in Historical Linguistics.

Because the Uto-Aztecan language family exhibits a good deal of linguistic and cultural diversity, it serves as a particularly interesting laboratory for historical linguistic investigation.  One nearly ubiquitous feature shared among these languages is a morphological process of verb derivation wherein nouns are converted to possessive verbs (meaning “have N”) by suffixation. However, different (non-cognate) suffixes are used for this function in different languages. In this presentation I survey the derivational morphology used to create these derived verbs of possession. I propose specific reconstructions for various suffixal morphemes for the protolanguage, and I discuss the paths of semantic change that these morphemes underwent in particular languages. With this case study as background, I also consider the implications of comparative and historical Uto-Aztecan morphology for linguistic typology, linguistic theory, and the cultural prehistory of the Uto-Aztecan-speaking peoples.

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