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date: 25 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Caddo is a member of the Caddoan language family, which includes also Wichita, Kitsai, Pawnee, and Arikara. Its verbs are typically polysynthetic, with a base composed of a variety of elements that include incorporated noun roots and various derivational prefixes and suffixes. This base is accompanied by pronominal prefixes expressing person and number and their role as agents, patients, or beneficiaries. Unusual is the division of these pronominal prefixes into realis and irrealis sets that have scope over an entire event or state. The base is followed by suffixes expressing tense and aspect. Caddo is not only polysynthetic but also highly fusional as a result of extensive sound changes that have obscured morpheme boundaries as well as resemblances between different parts of a paradigm. Morphological analysis requires the internal reconstruction of an earlier stage of the language when the composition of a verb was more transparent.

Keywords: incorporation, polysynthesis, derivational prefixes, derivational suffixes, pronominal prefixes, realis and irrealis, tense and aspect

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