Abstract and Keywords
Mapudungun, an unclassified language of southern Chile and south-central Argentina spoken by a somewhat uncertain but sizeable number of speakers, has word-formation phenomena that deserve to be called polysynthetic according to most of the (sometimes mutually exclusive) definitions of this term found in the descriptive and typological literature. Polypersonalism, productive nominal incorporation, a limited amount of lexical affixation, alongside significant grammatical affixation, and especially root-serializing/compounding processes lead to long and complex templatically structured verbal predicates that markedly contrast, not only with rather simple nouns in the same language, but also with predicates in many other languages of the region. This chapter describes the major word-formation processes of Mapudungun paying special attention to the typologies of polysynthesis that have been proposed in previous studies on the subject.
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