Athabascan verb stem structure – Tahltan

Athabascan verb stem structure – Tahltan
Author: Hank Nater
Number of pages: 20
Format / Quality: PDF / excellent
Size: 250 KB

In Tahltan,1 an Athabascan SOV language spoken in northwest British Columbia (Canada), the predicate is complex, as a rule consisting of prefixes and a variable verb stem. Below, I will show that morphonological alternation in Tahltan verb stems is a conditioned (regular) process: regularity is revealed when one considers Tahltan verb stem allomorphy from a diachronic viewpoint, where older forms take the place of underlying forms used in other theoretical (synchronic) approaches. When contemplating Tahltan verbal processes regardless of their historical development, one is challenged by erratic vowel alternations and the virtual impossibility to make a classification of allomorphic types due to merging of certain stemfinal consonants with (petrified) suffixes. In addition, Tahltan appears conservative in comparison with other Athabascan insofar as it has retained some stem-final affricates. These facts, along with the archaic nature of the
Tahltan phoneme inventory in general (Nater 1989: 5.3, tables 4-12), have convinced me that a thorough description of the Tahltan verb should not lack diachronic considerations.

2. The Tahltan predicate
3. The verb stem types
4. Enumeration
4.1 Invariable stems
4.2 Variable stems
4.2.1 CVR stems Mixed type stems
4.2.2 CVK stems
5. Conclusion
Appendix: The phonemes of Tahltan

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Remarks: tags: Amerindian, Athasbascan, Tahltan, British Columbia, Canada

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