Ideophones in Alto Perené (Arawak) from Eastern Peru
Elena Mihas |
The Cairns Institute, James Cook University
This research is a first attempt to survey ideophones in the Amazonian Arawak language Alto Perené (a.k.a. Ashéninka Perené). Based on fieldwork data, this study shows that ideophones constitute a separate class of words in Alto Perené in view of their distinctive phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic properties. The study also draws on primary and secondary data from three other genetically related neighboring language varieties (Ashéninka Pichis, Asháninka Tambo-Ene, and Kakinte) to demonstrate a moderate degree of interdialect variation. The study suggests the possibility that the following properties may be regional affinities: non-canonical stress assignment; word class-specific reduplication of the word-final syllabic segments -ri, -re, -ro, -pi, -po expressing spatial distribution, intensity, or repeated/durative/open-ended temporal structure of the reported event; productive (V)k-suffixation contributing to the expression of punctual/perfective aspect; syntactic functions of appositional or coordinated predicate, co-verb, complement, and adverb; prevalence of Gestalt packaging of sensory events; a dearth of ideophones describing states.