What Determiners can do: Data from Mopan Maya

Ellen Contini-Morava, Eve Danziger

Abstract


The word class Determiners and the functional category D are often characterized as encoding definiteness, specificity and/or uniqueness (Chomeshi-Paul-Wiltschko 2009). In Mopan Maya (Yukatecan), the noun classifiers and article are not sensitive to definiteness, but rather help specify that the associated lexeme be treated as a nominal rather than a predicate. This need arises from Mopan's "omnipredicativity" (Launey 1994): nouns, adjectives, and stative predicates may carry the same affixes, a phenomenon attested in several other indigenous American languages (Mithun 1999) . We describe the syntactic, semantic, and discourse-pragmatic functions of Mopan determiners, and argue for broadening typological definitions of "Determiner".

Full Text: PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.