Chapter published in:Diverse Scenarios of Syntactic Complexity
Edited by Albert Álvarez González, Zarina Estrada-Fernández and Claudine Chamoreau
[Typological Studies in Language 126] 2019
► pp. 217–247
From discourse to syntax
The use of the discourse marker bwe in the creation of interclausal connectives in Yaqui
This paper shows how Yaqui has recruited the element bwe, a discourse connective of discontinuity (that is, a spoken discourse marker that introduces a topic-shift), in order to participate in the creation of two new interclausal connectives: the cause/reason adverbial connective bwe’ituk and the adversative connective bweta. I argue that these two interclausal connectives come from a recent formation process that combines the discourse marker bwe and linguistic elements associated with the strategies used in the past for marking cause/reason clauses and adversative clauses in Yaqui, and that the recruitment of bwe from discourse to syntax is functionally motivated, since bwe can be viewed as a thematic reorientation device used in discourse, and bwe’ituk and bweta can be viewed as thematic reorientation devices used in syntax. A comparison between the two evolutionary processes originating the two bwe- interclausal connectives is also provided, showing that contrary to the bweta formation, the creation of bwe’ituk implies a process of explicitness-driven maturation and two syntactic rearrangements referring to the encoding of the adverbial clause subject and to the position of the connective within the adverbial clause, which are clear consequences of the discourse origin of bwe.
Keywords: discourse marker, interclausal connectives, cause/reason adverbial clause, adversative clause, thematic reorientation, grammaticalization
Published online: 04 July 2019
Álvarez González Albert
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