A typological analysis of the Chained-Aorist construction in Ayt Atta Tamazight (Berber)
Clause-linking mechanisms are subject to cross-linguistic variation. As far as non-subordinate clauses are concerned, any combination of two clauses may show two predicates mutually equal or different in terms of finiteness: these are known as co-ranking and clause-chaining structures, respectively (Longacre 2007: 375). Clause-chaining constructions show two structural possibilities, namely medial-final and initial-medial chaining, depending on whether the more-finite verb follows or precedes the less-finite one. Clause-chaining constructions are found in unrelated language families scattered across the globe, including Afroasiatic (Longacre 1990). However, the existing typological literature on the topic has totally neglected Berber, another Afroasiatic language. This work focuses on a clause-linking strategy found in Ayt Atta Tamazight (Berber, henceforth AAT) and in other Berber languages, the so-called Chained-Aorist construction (henceforth C-AOR). Stemming from my fieldwork on AAT, this paper provides an innovative typological analysis of C-AOR, analysing it in terms of initial-medial clause chaining.
Keywords: Berber, Aorist, clause linking, clause chaining, discourse structure
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