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Book Chapter

Egophoricity and argument structure in Cha'palaa


Floyd,  Simeon
Language and Cognition Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
Universidad San Francisco de Quito;

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Floyd, S. (2018). Egophoricity and argument structure in Cha'palaa. In S. Floyd, E. Norcliffe, & L. San Roque (Eds.), Egophoricity (pp. 269-304). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-076F-B
The Cha’palaa language of Ecuador (Barbacoan) features verbal morphology for marking knowledge-based categories that, in usage, show a variant of the cross-linguistically recurrent pattern of ‘egophoric distribution': specific forms associate with speakers in contrast to others in statements and with addressees in contrast to others in questions. These are not person markers, but rather are used by speakers to portray their involvement in states of affairs as active, agentive participants (ego) versus other types of involvement (non-ego). They interact with person and argument structure, but through pragmatic ‘person sensitivities’ rather than through grammatical agreement. Not only does this pattern appear in verbal morphology, it also can be observed in alternations of predicate construction types and case alignment, helping to show how egophoric marking is a pervasive element of Cha'palaa's linguistic system. This chapter gives a first account of egophoricity in Cha’palaa, beginning with a discussion of person sensitivity, egophoric distribution, and issues of flexibility of marking with respect to degree of volition or control. It then focuses on a set of intransitive experiencer (or ‘endopathic') predicates that refer to internal states which mark egophoric values for the undergoer role, not the actor role, showing ‘quirky’ accusative marking instead of nominative case. It concludes with a summary of how egophoricity in Cha'palaa interacts with issues of argument structure in comparison to a language with person agreement, here represented by examples from Cha’palaa’s neighbor Ecuadorian Highland Quechua.