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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

While Ute (Numic, Uto-Aztecan) currently has “free” word-order, most of its morphology conforms to a historical OV syntax, with postpositions pronouns, pre-nominal genitive modifiers, and predominantly suffixal verbal morphology,with most exceptions to the latter easily attributed to pre-verbal incorporation of object, instrument, adjective, or adverb stems. Ute also displays an extensive array of complex verbal stems, most commonly two-verb combinations. Of the two combined verbal stems, the second usually loses its original valence, exhibits semantic bleaching, and otherwise bears the traditional marks of grammaticalization. While the process of complex-verb creation is extensive, long-standing, and still ongoing, its diachrony is far from clear. This chapter describes Ute complex verbs, then reviews the potential candidates for the diachronic source-constructions that gave rise to these complex lexemes. While an unambiguous identification of “the” source-construction is not yet possible, the phenomenon as a whole represents a clear trend from syntax to lexis.

Keywords: Ute, complex verbs, diachrony, grammaticalization, polysynthesis

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