Salience and shift in salience as means of creating discourse coherence: The case of the Chipaya enclitics

Katja Hannß

Abstract

The Chipaya language, an endangered isolate of the Bolivian highlands, has a set of three enclitics, =l, =m and =ʐ, which are coreferential with the subject of a clause but are not necessarily attached to it and are not obligatory. In this paper, I investigate the pragmatic function of these forms. The salience-marking enclitics (henceforth SMEs) occur at paratactic and hypotactic discourse transitions, where they indicate a shift in salience, thereby contributing to creating discourse coherence. Discourse transitions without a shift in salience are not accompanied by the enclitics. Those enclitics that occur at paratactic transitions have scope over at least the segment whose beginning and/or end they occur in, whereas SMEs at hypotactic transitions have scope over the clause they appear in. Use of the SMEs is genre-specific.

Keywords:
Publication history
Table of contents

1.Introduction

In this study, I discuss the pragmatic use and function of a set of enclitics, =l, =m and =ʐ, of Chipaya, an endangered isolate of highland Bolivia. I argue that these enclitics make discourse referents and elements salient and thereby indicate shifts of salience. Because of this, they occur at discourse transitions, contributing to creating discourse coherence.

In the so far only grammar of Chipaya, Cerrón-Palomino (2006Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo 2006El chipaya o la lengua de los hombres del agua [Chipaya or the Language of the People of the Water]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.Google Scholar, 172–173; translation mine), describes the SMEs as “‘floating’ from one phrasal constituent to the other, depending on the focalising intention of the speaker”. While I agree in principle with Cerrón-Palomino’s characterisation, I propose that the SMEs can be described in more explicit terms. That is, while the semantics of the Chipaya enclitics in terms of their function in the grammar of sentences is known – they make discourse referents and elements salient –, their pragmatics, i.e. their function in the grammatical structuring of discourse, still remains underspecified. It is therefore the aim of this paper to examine in detail the pragmatic function the Chipaya SMEs fulfil in discourse. I argue that – due to their capacity to make referents and elements salient – they indicate shifts of salience and occur at discourse transitions. Accordingly, my research is embedded within studies on discourse coherence and discourse transitions, notably that by Redeker (2006)Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar. Central notions of coherence relations are subordinating and coordinating structures or, as they are called by Grimes (1975Grimes, Joseph E. 1975The Thread of Discourse. The Hague/Paris: Mouton. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 209), “paratactic” and “hypotactic” relations. These notions also play a central role in Redeker’s (2006)Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar work on Discourse markers as attentional cues at discourse transitions, which is pivotal here (see also Section 2.2).

When looking at a Chipaya text, the distribution of the SMEs appears to be quite random and unpredictable at first glance. While some texts contain a relatively high number of SMEs (12 instances in an oral text of 10:26 minutes), others contain only one enclitic (in an oral text of 3:45 minutes, for instance) and still others do not show use of a single SME at all. Moreover, the SMEs attach to newly introduced referents, but also to those that have already been mentioned before (see, for instance, line 2 in Section 5.1); in negative clauses, they regularly attach to the negation particle ana ‘no, not’ and occasionally they are also found on adjectives and adverbs (see Table 2 in Section 2.1). While this seemingly idiosyncratic behaviour of the Chipaya SMEs has probably contributed to the rather vague description of their function in discourse, it also shows that elements like the Chipaya SMEs cannot be satisfactorily described by a sentence grammar alone. Instead, capturing items like the Chipaya SMEs requires a discourse grammar (see e.g. Longacre 1996Longacre, Robert E. 1996The Grammar of Discourse. Second edition. New York/London: Plenum Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 27, 31). This suggests that sentence and discourse grammars need to be combined in order to describe a language. Moreover, the Chipaya SMEs are typologically rare: they are coreferential with the subject of a clause (see Cerrón-Palomino 2006Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo 2006El chipaya o la lengua de los hombres del agua [Chipaya or the Language of the People of the Water]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.Google Scholar, 172) but make their respective host salient (which does not need to be subject of a clause; see above and Section 2.1); they are not obligatory and their use is genre-specific (see also Sections 2.1, 2.2 and 4). To the best of my knowledge, elements such as the Chipaya SMEs are rarely described in the literature (but see Olawsky 2006Olawsky, Knut J. 2006A Grammar of Urarina. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 692–732, on Urarina). Describing the pragmatic function of the Chipaya SMEs will shed further light on this unusual discourse feature, thereby enhancing our understanding of how discourse coherence is created in so far lesser studied languages.

Before turning to a description of the theoretical concepts employed in this study, I will provide a brief overview of the previous research on Chipaya and the typological profile of the language. Chipaya is the last surviving member of the small Uru-Chipaya language family of the Bolivian highlands; the other two members have become extinct (Adelaar and Muysken 2004Adelaar, Willem, and Pieter Muysken 2004The Languages of the Andes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 622; Hannß 2008Hannß, Katja 2008Uchumataqu. The Lost Language of the Urus of Bolivia. A Grammatical Description of the Language as Documented between 1894 and 1952. Leiden: CNWS.Google Scholar, 22, footnote 40). The language is spoken by approximately 1,000 speakers in the community of Santa Ana de Chipaya (Adelaar and Muysken 2004Adelaar, Willem, and Pieter Muysken 2004The Languages of the Andes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 362–363; Adelaar 2007Adelaar, Willem 2007 “Threatened Languages in Hispanic South America.” In Language Diversity Endangered, ed. by Matthias Brenzinger, 9–28. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar, 19). A first grammatical description of Chipaya was provided by Uhle (1894)Uhle, Max 1894Uro Grammar I and II. Manuscript in the possession of the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut, Berlin. https://​digital​.iai​.spk​-berlin​.de​/viewer​/collections​/maxuhle/ (27 December 2019). (Hannß 2008Hannß, Katja 2008Uchumataqu. The Lost Language of the Urus of Bolivia. A Grammatical Description of the Language as Documented between 1894 and 1952. Leiden: CNWS.Google Scholar, 1). It was only from the 1960s onwards that Chipaya received increased academic interest, first by the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL; see e.g. R. Olson 1967Olson, Ronald D. 1967 “The Syllable in Chipaya.” International Journal of American Linguistics 33: 300–304. CrossrefGoogle Scholar) and between 1983 and 1985 by Porterie-Gutiérrez (Howard-Malverde 1990Howard-Malverde, Rosaleen 1990 “Introduction.” In Liliane Porterie-Gutiérrez (author), “Documentos para el estudio de la lengua chipaya [Documents for the Study of the Chipaya Language].” Amerindia 15: 157–191. https://​www​.vjf​.cnrs​.fr​/sedyl​/amerindia​/articles​/pdf​/A​_15​_08​.pdf (27 December 2019).; Porterie-Gutiérrez 1990Porterie-Gutiérrez, Liliane 1990 “Documentos para el estudio de la lengua chipaya [Documents for the Study of the Chipaya Language].” Amerindia 15: 157–191. https://​www​.vjf​.cnrs​.fr​/sedyl​/amerindia​/articles​/pdf​/A​_15​_08​.pdf (27 December 2019).). The most recent research on Chipaya was carried out by Cerrón-Palomino (2006Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo 2006El chipaya o la lengua de los hombres del agua [Chipaya or the Language of the People of the Water]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.Google Scholar, 2009 2009 “Chipaya.” In Lenguas de Bolivia [Languages of Bolivia]. Volume I: Ámbito andino [Andean Sphere], ed. by Mily Crevels, and Pieter Muysken, 29–77. La Paz: Plural Editores.Google Scholar), Cerrón-Palomino and Ballón Aguirre (2011)Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo, and Enrique Ballón Aguirre 2011Chipaya: Léxico-etnotaxonomía [Chipaya: Lexical Ethnotaxonomy]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen: Centre for Language Studies.Google Scholar and (DobeS Chipaya project).11.DobeS = Dokumentation bedrohter Sprachen, Documentation of Endangered Languages. The data to be discussed in this study come from oral Chipaya texts and were collected by the author and colleagues during fieldwork (DobeS Chipaya project). According to Cerrón-Palomino (2009 2009 “Chipaya.” In Lenguas de Bolivia [Languages of Bolivia]. Volume I: Ámbito andino [Andean Sphere], ed. by Mily Crevels, and Pieter Muysken, 29–77. La Paz: Plural Editores.Google Scholar, 47; translation mine), Chipaya is an agglutinating language “with a marked tendency towards fusion”. The language is almost entirely suffixing, and the basic constituent order is SOV, although this is flexible, and core arguments are marked syntactically (Cerrón-Palomino 2006Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo 2006El chipaya o la lengua de los hombres del agua [Chipaya or the Language of the People of the Water]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.Google Scholar, 122, 158, 219). Case relations are expressed by suffixes and include directional and locative marking. The latter distinguishes whether the object or entity marked by the locative is close to the speaker – in which case the locative marker is -kiʂ – or whether the entity or object is further away from the speaker; in this case, -kin is used (Cerrón-Palomino 2006Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo 2006El chipaya o la lengua de los hombres del agua [Chipaya or the Language of the People of the Water]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.Google Scholar, 128). Tense and aspect are equally expressed by suffixes, but it is only in the completive past tense -ʧi that Chipaya unambiguously co-references the subject on the verb. In all other tenses, the subject is either not co-referenced at all or only the subject of a first-person singular and plural exclusive is marked on the verb. Discourse referents that are considered active can be referred to by zero anaphora (Hannß, accepted accepted. “The Expression of Directed Caused Accompanied Motion (CAM) Events in Chipaya.” In Caused Accompanied Motion: Bringing and Taking Events in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective ed. by Birgit Hellwig, Anna Margetts, and Sonja Riesberg Amsterdam John Benjamins ). Chipaya distinguishes masculine and feminine gender, which is unique among the present-day Andean languages (Cerrón-Palomino 2006Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo 2006El chipaya o la lengua de los hombres del agua [Chipaya or the Language of the People of the Water]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.Google Scholar, 113) (see Table 1). To give an impression of the language, lines 2 to 4 from Section 5.1 are glossed below.22.For the abbreviations, see the Appendix.

(1)
nuʐkiʂ
thus
wawa=ʐ
child=sal
math-tan
born-subord
wawa
child
math-ta=khen
born-pst=reason
ni
art.masc
rey=ki
king=top
tuʐ
so
khi-tʃi=ki=tʂa
say-compl.3sg.masc=rep=decl

‘Thus, when the child was born, because the child was born, the king said so:’

The paper is organised as follows: Section 2 presents the theoretical background, while in Section 2.1, I discuss the notion of salience and the Chipaya SMEs along with further discourse-structuring devices of Chipaya before turning to a description of discourse coherence and discourse transitions after Redeker (2006)Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar in Section 2.2. I present my data and methods in Section 3. This is followed by a quantitative analysis in Section 4, while in Section 5, I provide two qualitative case studies to substantiate my claim that the Chipaya enclitics indicate shifts in salience and occur at discourse transitions. My conclusions are presented in Section 6.

2.Theoretical background

In the following sections, I present the theoretical background relevant to the paper. I begin with an overview of the concept of salience and the SMEs, before turning to a description of paratactic and hypotactic transitions following Redeker (2006)Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar.

2.1Salience, the Chipaya SMEs and further discourse-structuring devices of Chipaya

The Chipaya SMEs, =l, =m and =ʐ, attach to constituents and elements that a speaker wishes to make salient in discourse (see Tables 1 and 2). According to Chiarcos (2011Chiarcos, Christian 2011 “The Mental Salience Framework: Context-Adequate Generation of Referring Expressions.” In Salience: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Its Function in Discourse, ed. by Michael Grabski, Claus Berry, and Christian Chiarcos, 105–139. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 107–108), two basic types of salience can be distinguished: one relates to “hearer salience (accessibility/givenness) Hearer salient information is known and easily retrievable for the hearer” (Chiarcos 2011Chiarcos, Christian 2011 “The Mental Salience Framework: Context-Adequate Generation of Referring Expressions.” In Salience: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Its Function in Discourse, ed. by Michael Grabski, Claus Berry, and Christian Chiarcos, 105–139. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 108; emphasis in the original), while the other one is “speaker salience (importance/newsworthiness) Speaker salient information is speaker-private and relevant, e.g. new for the hearer, not predictable or something the speaker wants to put special emphasis on” (Chiarcos 2011Chiarcos, Christian 2011 “The Mental Salience Framework: Context-Adequate Generation of Referring Expressions.” In Salience: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Its Function in Discourse, ed. by Michael Grabski, Claus Berry, and Christian Chiarcos, 105–139. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 107; original emphasis). It is the latter I am concerned with, as I suggest that the SMEs mark information that is salient in the sense of speaker salience, i.e. new to the hearer, important and/or not predictable. In accordance with Chiarcos’ (2011Chiarcos, Christian 2011 “The Mental Salience Framework: Context-Adequate Generation of Referring Expressions.” In Salience: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Its Function in Discourse, ed. by Michael Grabski, Claus Berry, and Christian Chiarcos, 105–139. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 109) observation that “salience is a necessary condition for shifts of attention”, the Chipaya enclitics indicate shifts in salience in a discourse. I propose that these are the main functions of the Chipaya SMEs: to make their host salient and thereby to indicate a shift in salience. Because of this, the Chipaya enclitics play a role in creating discourse coherence, as they occur at paratactic and hypotactic transitions which signal the beginning or end of a segment or mark quotations, for instance (see Section 2.2). Elements or constituents carrying one of these enclitics draw the addressee’s attention to the marked element or constituent, which is thereby singled out as being new and/or important, making the addressee aware of a shift in salience. They are thus “discourse operators” in the sense of Redeker (2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 340), where discourse operator is defined as follows:

A discourse operator is any expression that is used with the primary function of bringing to the listener’s attention a particular kind of relation between the discourse unit it introduces and the immediate discourse context.(Redeker 2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 341; original emphasis)

The Chipaya SMEs are coreferential with the subject of a clause regarding number and gender but are not based on the respective personal pronouns, with the possible exception of the second-person singular.33.In cases where an SME attaches to a third-person direct object and co-references either a third-person singular masculine, first-person plural inclusive, second-person plural or third-person plural subject, it may seem as if the SME is actually coreferential with the direct object rather than the subject (see e.g. lines 5 to 5b and 6 in Section 5.2). However, SMEs are always coreferential with the subject, as is also confirmed by our language consultant. Following Zwicky (1977Zwicky, Arnold 1977On Clitics. Bloomington: Ohio State University [Reproduced by the Indiana University Linguistics Club]. http://​web​.stanford​.edu​/~zwicky​/on​_clitics​.pdf (27 December 2019)., 6), the Chipaya SMEs can therefore be called special clitics. Such clitics are “not necessarily derived from corresponding full forms in a transparent way and they may or must be placed at a different position than the corresponding full form if there is one” (Gerlach and Grijzenhout 2000Gerlach, Birgit, and Janet Grijzenhout 2000 “Clitics from Different Perspectives.” In Clitics in Phonology, Morphology and Syntax, ed. by Birgit Gerlach, and Janet Grijzenhout, 1–29. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.Google Scholar, 1; see also e.g. Siewierska 2004Siewierska, Anna 2004Person. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 26). Table 1 summarises the forms of the enclitics and the respective pronouns.

Table 1.The Chipaya SMEs
Subject referent Chipaya SMEs Personal pronouns
1st singular =l werh
2nd singular =m am
3rd singular masculine ni
3rd singular feminine =l na
1st plural inclusive utʂunnaka
1st plural exclusive =l werhnaka
2nd plural antʂuk
3rd plural masculine ninaka
3rd plural feminine nanaka

The Chipaya enclitics are not obligatory and long stretches of discourse can occur without them. Moreover, their use is genre-specific (see also Sections 1, 2.2 and 4). They co-reference only human and quasi human subjects, with the latter referring to characters in traditional folk tales, where animals behave like humans. The SMEs can occur in main and in subordinate clauses (for the latter, see e.g. line 2 in Section 5.1) and show no restrictions with respect to verbal tense marking.

The Chipaya SMEs have no canonical position in a clause, with one exception: enclitics that are coreferential with the referent of a first- or second-person subject do not attach to the pronominal subject itself. This relates to their function of marking speaker-salient referents: since first- and second-person subject referents are speech-act participants and as such hearer-salient, they do not take the enclitics that mark speaker-salient information (cf. Cerrón-Palomino 2006Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo 2006El chipaya o la lengua de los hombres del agua [Chipaya or the Language of the People of the Water]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.Google Scholar, 172). Thus, the Chipaya SMEs can be described as “floating clitics” (Aikhenvald 2002Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2002 “Typological Parameters for the Study of Clitics, with Special Reference to Tariana.” In Word: A Cross-Linguistic Typology, ed. by Robert M. W. Dixon, and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, 42–78. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar, 46; see also Cerrón-Palomino 2006Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo 2006El chipaya o la lengua de los hombres del agua [Chipaya or the Language of the People of the Water]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.Google Scholar, 172; Section 1).44.Aikhenvald (2002Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2002 “Typological Parameters for the Study of Clitics, with Special Reference to Tariana.” In Word: A Cross-Linguistic Typology, ed. by Robert M. W. Dixon, and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, 42–78. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar, 47) further mentions that floating clitics often express focus or emphasis. Her observation is thus in accordance with the function of the Chipaya enclitics as salience-marking devices proposed here. However, there are clearly preferred constituents and elements the enclitics attach to: with lexically expressed third-person subject referents, the enclitics preferably attach to the subject noun phrase, while with first- and second-person subject referents, the enclitics often go either onto adverbs, adjectives or locative adjuncts or onto the direct object.55.Locative adjuncts as hosts of an SME are attested only twice. In negative clauses, the enclitics frequently attach to the negative particle ana ‘no, not’ (see Cerrón-Palomino 2006Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo 2006El chipaya o la lengua de los hombres del agua [Chipaya or the Language of the People of the Water]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.Google Scholar, 172). All other positions are occupied only occasionally. Table 2 provides an overview of the hosts of the Chipaya SMEs, where – marks a position not attested in my data sample.66.That there are more than twice as many third-person subject enclitics than first- or second-person subject enclitics relates to the fact that a considerable part of the Chipaya corpus consists of folk tales, where subjects are usually a third person.

Table 2.Hosts of the Chipaya SMEs
Enclitic coreferential with … Subject Direct object Indirect object Adv., adject., adjunct Negation total
1st and 2nd subject  4 1 6 7 18
3rd subject 14 10 3 13 40
total 14 14 1 9 20 58

Of the 58 hosts, only 14 are a subject, while in the remaining cases it is a non-subject constituent. According to Siewierska (2004Siewierska, Anna 2004Person. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 175, referring to Ariel 1990Ariel, Mira 1990Accessing Noun Phrase Antecedents. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar), subjects are higher in salience than non-subjects. This means that the majority of the hosts of the SMEs show low salience with respect to their grammatical function. Excluding negations, adverbs and adjectives and with the arguable exception of two instances, the remaining hosts are third-persons and as such non-participants.77.The two exceptions refer to line 15 in Section 5.1. There, speaker and referent are identical, but the speaker uses a third-person expression – ‘father’ – to refer to himself. Non-participants are lowest in salience when compared to speakers and addressees (ibid.). Moreover, 17 of the hosts’ referents are inanimate and therefore less salient than human or animate referents (ibid.). Thus, practically all hosts of the Chipaya SMEs are rather low on the salience hierarchy and many combine several non-salient features: they are non-participants, often non-subject constituents and/or inanimate. Therefore, attaching an SME clearly contributes to making otherwise non-salient participants salient. This emphasises the function of the Chipaya enclitics as salience-markers.

The SMEs are of course not the only means Chipaya makes use of in structuring discourse. Other devices include lexical discourse markers like xaʎa ‘then’, neqhʂtan ‘then, later’ and nuʐ and nuʐkiʂ ‘thus, so’. As yet, the scope and meaning of the Chipaya lexical discourse markers are not entirely clear, but I tentatively propose that xaʎa ‘then’ and neqhʂtan ‘then, later’ denote temporal succession, while nuʐ and nuʐkiʂ ‘thus, so’ express the result(s) of a preceding action. The latter is based on Schiffrin’s (1987Schiffrin, Deborah 1987Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 201–202) analysis of English so, where I assume a semantic likeness between thus and so. These are very preliminary interpretations of the Chipaya lexical discourse markers and further research is required. Another device that contributes to creating discourse coherence in Chipaya and which I frequently refer to in my analyses is the declarative marker =tʂa (see Sections 5.1 and 5.2). It marks a predication (see Cerrón-Palomino 2006Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo 2006El chipaya o la lengua de los hombres del agua [Chipaya or the Language of the People of the Water]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.Google Scholar, 166) and as such attaches to the predicate of a clause, which as a default is the clause-final finite verb. Still other means that play a role in structuring discourse are, for instance, the topic marker =ki and anaphorical and zero coding of discourse referents. However, while these forms and structures play a role in creating discourse coherence in Chipaya texts and also partly interact with the SMEs, the focus of this paper lies on the SMEs and I will not elaborate further on other discourse-structuring means of Chipaya.

2.2Discourse coherence and discourse transitions

A pivotal issue of studies on coherence relations is the exploration of the hierarchical structuring of texts (see Redeker and Gruber 2014Redeker, Gisela, and Helmut Gruber 2014 “Introduction: The Pragmatics of Discourse Coherence.” In The Pragmatics of Discourse Coherence, ed. by Helmut Gruber, and Gisela Redeker, 1–22. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 1–11, among others). Accordingly, coherence relations are defined by Redeker and Gruber (2014Redeker, Gisela, and Helmut Gruber 2014 “Introduction: The Pragmatics of Discourse Coherence.” In The Pragmatics of Discourse Coherence, ed. by Helmut Gruber, and Gisela Redeker, 1–22. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 2) as describing “how parts of a discourse combine recursively to form larger chunks and eventually the whole structure”. Put the other way around: a text can be broken up into paragraphs and segments, each of which consists of sentences and clauses. The semantic-pragmatic relationships of coordination and subordination that exist between these units ultimately produce a coherent text (ibid.).88.Semantic-pragmatic relationships of coordination and subordination are, of course, also reflected in the formal structure of a text, as is the case with, for instance, markers of syntactic subordination.

I am concerned with the transitions between these different types of discourse units and segments, as it is there that the SMEs occur. Redeker (2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 344–345; emphasis in the original) distinguishes two basic types of discourse segment transitions: “paratactic transitions between segments that follow each other at the same level” and “hypotactic transitions involving interruption or suspension of an incomplete unit with parenthetical material”. Paratactic transitions are indicated by next-segment and/or end-of-segment markers (Redeker 2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 344). Parenthetical material which is marked by hypotactic transitions includes digressions, interruptions, specifications, paraphrases, explications, clarifications, background information, comments, repairs, quotations and returns (Redeker 2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 344, 345).99.Redeker (2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 345) further distinguishes between “‘push’-markers signalling the beginning of a parenthetical segment, and ‘pop’-markers signalling the return from a parenthetical segment”. This distinction is not taken into consideration here, as the Chipaya markers that appear at the beginning and at the end of parenthetical material do not differ formally. Figure 1 provides a schematic overview of the discourse segment transitions.

Figure 1.Discourse segment transitions (after: Redeker 2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 344–345)
Figure 1.

Because of their pragmatic function to make referents and elements salient, thereby indicating shifts in salience, the Chipaya enclitics occur at paratactic and hypotactic transitions in Chipaya discourse (see also Table 4 in Section 4). In this way, the Chipaya SMEs contribute to structuring a discourse. However, not every discourse transition is accompanied by an SME; instead, they are used only when a transition involves a shift in salience. Thus, the function of the Chipaya SMEs is not to indicate a discourse transition per se but to highlight referents or elements that a speaker wishes to make salient. As such, however, the Chipaya enclitics frequently occur at discourse transitions, as these often, although not always, involve a shift in salience. Transitions without SMEs do not involve a shift in salience (see Section 5.1).

3.Data and methods

The texts to be investigated are taken from the author’s and colleagues’ own fieldwork (DobeS Chipaya project), which consists of 57 annotated audio files, amounting to a total of 11 hours of recordings (Spanish and Chipaya). The data were collected between 2002 and 2006 in Santa Ana de Chipaya, Oruro and La Paz (Bolivia) and were transcribed and translated into Spanish by Chipaya native speakers. They are archived at The Language Archive.1010.See: https://​archive​.mpi​.nl/ (27 December 2019). In total, 13 male and five female speakers contributed to the corpus, ranging in age from 12 to 71 at the time of documentation. In accordance with the express request of the consultants, all metadata and relevant language data are anonymised.

The data sample used in investigating the pragmatic function of the Chipaya SMEs comprises ten texts from six speakers: two female and four male speakers, aged between 12 and 45 at the time of recording. The entire length of the Chipaya recordings in the data sample amounts to 55:15 minutes, without Spanish translations and/or explications. Of these, 22:13 minutes (40.13% of 55:15 minutes in total) are provided by folk stories, while descriptive texts make up 19:49 minutes (35.34%). Dialogues contribute 13:13 minutes (23.80%). The data sample consists of four folk stories and four descriptive texts and two (semi-)spontaneous dialogues. With the exception of the two dialogues, the texts are non-dyadic. I considered only texts with at least one SME.

My segmentation of the Chipaya texts to be discussed in Sections 5.1 and 5.2 is based on the semantic-pragmatic relationships reflected by lexical and morphosyntactic cues, which refers especially to the presence of SMEs, lexical discourse markers and the declarative marker. While investigating the texts, it became obvious that a change of topic often coincides with the use of SMEs and lexical discourse markers. Such a topic change in conjunction with morphosyntactic means was then interpreted as a paratactic transition, i.e. a new segment. In other cases, the SMEs occur at a position where neither the semantic contents nor the morphosyntactic means support an interpretation as a paratactic transition. However, these passages contain an explication or a specification of a previous utterance or a quotation. The passage from the mainline of a discourse to an explication, specification or quote is marked by a hypotactic transition, in the context of which an SME is used.1111.The term “mainline” is adopted from Longacre (1996Longacre, Robert E. 1996The Grammar of Discourse. Second edition. New York/London: Plenum Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 21–23). In this way, the enclitics were identified as markers that occur at paratactic and hypotactic transitions, where they indicate a shift in salience.

4.Quantitative analysis

Table 3 quantifies all paratactic and hypotactic transitions attested in the Chipaya data sample, regardless of whether there is an SME at a given transition or not. Moreover, it gives the number of transitions in relation to the overall amount of data per genre (in transitions/100 words). I distinguish the parameters of genre, transition type (which is further differentiated according to paratactic and hypotactic transitions) and amount of data (in words). For this overview, all Chipaya texts investigated for this study are considered (see Section 3).

Table 3.Quantification of all paratactic and hypotactic transitions in the Chipaya data sample
Genre Folk stories Descriptive texts Dialogues Total
Paratactic transitions    83   56   39  178
Hypotactic transitions    58   64   41  163
All transitions   141  120   80  341
Total words/genre  1,543 1,120  741 3,404
Transitions/ 100 words 11/100 9/100 9/100

As can be expected, the amount of data per genre in minutes (see Section 3), the number of transitions per genre and the number of words per genre correlate. Folk stories provide the greatest amount of data in minutes (22:13 minutes), show the highest number of words per genre (1,543) and also have the most transitions (141). These parameters also correlate for descriptive texts (1,120 words in 19:49 minutes and 120 transitions) and dialogues (741 words in 13:13 minutes and 80 transitions).

In folk stories, paratactic transitions clearly prevail over hypotactic transitions, while in the other two genres, paratactic and hypotactic transitions are relatively evenly distributed, with only a slight predominance of hypotactic transitions. When it comes to transitions/100 words, the relation is even across all three genres.

Table 4 visualises the quantification of the Chipaya SMEs that occur at transitions. Again, I distinguish transition type and genre; all Chipaya texts investigated for this study are considered (see Section 3). I have collapsed the categories of explication, clarification, background information and comment into one category. This is based on Redeker (2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 344), who describes these notions as providing “any information that might help the listener’s understanding or acceptance of some previously presented material”. The purpose common to these categories allows collapsing them into one class. Other categories mentioned by Redeker (2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 344, 345; see also Section 2.2) but not listed here are not attested in the Chipaya texts under consideration.

Table 4.Quantification of the Chipaya SMEs according to transition types and genres
Genre Folk stories Descriptive texts Dialogues Total
Transition
Next segment  4  4 2 10
paratactic
End of segment  2  5 2  9
total paratactic transitions  6  9 4 19
Quote 19  1 1 21
hypotactic
Background information, explication, clarification, comment  2 1  3
Specification 11 1 12
(end of) digression  1 2  3
total hypotactic transitions 19 15 5 39
total (all transitions) 25 24 9 58

The 58 transitions that are accompanied by an SME make up 17% of all 341 attested transitions. Thus, the enclitics occur only in a minority of all transitions. Moreover, the 19 paratactic transitions with an SME constitute only 10.67% of all 178 paratactic transitions, while the 39 hypotactic transitions with an enclitic equal 23.93% of all 163 hypotactic transitions (see also Table 3).

Table 5 shows the percentage of SME-marked paratactic and hypotactic transitions per genre in relation to the overall number of paratactic and hypotactic transitions per genre. In addition, the rightmost column gives the percentage of all SME-marked transitions in relation to the overall number of transitions per genre (see also Tables 3 and 4). Thus, for instance, folk stories include 83 paratactic transitions in total. Of these, six are marked by an SME, which equals 7.2%. The 19 SME-marked hypotactic transitions equal 32.8% of all 58 hypotactic transitions found in folk stories. These 25 SME-marked transitions make up 17.7% of all 141 transitions attested in folk stories (see Tables 3 and 4).

Table 5.SME-marked transitions per genre
Genre Percentage of SME-marked transitions All transitions
Paratactic transitions Hypotactic transitions
Folk stories  7.2% 32.8% 17.7%
Descriptive texts 16.1% 23.4% 20.0%
Dialogues 10.3% 12.2% 11.3%

The overall percentage of SME-marked transitions is highest in descriptive texts (20%) but closely followed by folk stories (17.7%) and only dialogues score notably lower (11.3%). The slight prevalence of transitions with an SME in descriptive texts is unrelated to the amount of data and number of transitions contributed by descriptive texts (there, folk stories dominate). Rather, the distribution as shown in Table 5 is mainly due to the SMEs at hypotactic transitions in folk stories and to the number of SMEs at hypotactic and paratactic transitions in descriptive texts. I suggest that both is genre-related.

The prevalence of hypotactic transitions involving quotes in folk stories (see Tables 4 and 5) suggests that once the mainline of a folk story has been established, the narrator does not introduce many new referents and/or elements at the paratactic level that would require salience-marking. Rather, when SMEs are used, this happens at the hypotactic level in the context of quotes as it is there that a shift of speaker and perspective takes place.1212.I owe this formulation to an anonymous reviewer. Such a shift invites use of an SME. Ultimately, the distribution of SMEs relates to the structure of folk stories, which have a predetermined temporal sequence of events (see e.g. Longacre 1996Longacre, Robert E. 1996The Grammar of Discourse. Second edition. New York/London: Plenum Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 10, 11) that must be observed. This allows speakers planning segmentation ahead (see also below).

In descriptive texts segmentation, too, can be planned in advance, although to a lesser degree than in folk stories. As a consequence, it appears that narrators tend to segment a descriptive text at the paratactic level more than is the case in folk stories (see also below). Moreover, at the hypotactic level, spontaneous specifications may become necessary in the course of a description and these are frequently marked by an SME (see below and Table 4). This explains why descriptive texts show more SME-marked paratactic transitions than folk stories (and dialogues) and still include a considerable percentage of SMEs at hypotactic transitions. While with 23.4% this is lower than in folk stories, it notably contributes to the overall percentage of SME-marked transitions in descriptive texts.

Dialogues reveal the lowest percentage of SME-marked transitions. While dialogues are the least represented genre in the data sample (see Section 3), this does not account for the low percentage of transitions with an SME in dialogues. Rather, I propose that this, too, has to do with the specific genre of dialogues. Of the three genres considered here, dialogues involve the most spontaneous type of language use and, because of their dyadic nature, segmentation cannot be planned the way it can be in non-dyadic texts like folk stories and, to a lesser degree, descriptive texts. As a result, the number of transitions accompanied by an enclitic is lowest with dialogues. Note, however, that the relation of transitions/100 words is comparable to that of the other two genres (see Table 3). That is, it is only the number of enclitic-marked transitions in dialogues that is lower, not the number of transitions in dialogues itself.

When zooming in on how paratactic and hypotactic transitions with an SME distribute across the genres (see Table 4), we find that there is no obvious quantitative difference between the enclitics that occur at the beginning of a new segment and those that occur at the end of a segment (ten vs. nine instances). SMEs at the beginning of a new segment occur four times each in descriptive texts and in folk stories but are attested only two times in dialogues. As outlined above, this probably relates to the low percentage of enclitic-marked transitions in dialogues. This has to do with the greater spontaneity and dyadic nature of dialogues which complicate anticipating segmentation.

SMEs that occur at the end of a segment are more common in descriptive texts than in folk stories, where enclitics prevail at the beginning of a new segment. In descriptive texts, segmentation is presumably less predictable than in folk stories, which have a more predetermined structure. This not only leads to a greater segmentation at the paratactic level in descriptive texts (16.1% vs 7.2%; see Table 5) but also suggests that narrators of descriptive texts seem to emphasise the end of a segment rather than its beginning, thereby stating that a particular subject has sufficiently been described (see Section 5.2). Thus, in descriptive texts, SMEs are used retrospectively rather than prospectively.

Of Redeker’s (2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 344, 345) hypotactic transitions, four categories are attested in Chipaya: quote; background information, explication, clarification and comment (recall that these originally separate notions have been collapsed into a single category here; see above); specification; and (end of) digression. Of these, only hypotactic transitions involving quote and specification are frequently accompanied by an SME, where quote clearly prevails over specification. In folk tales, SMEs occur only at hypotactic transitions that involve quotes, resulting in the highest percentage of SME-marked hypotactic transitions (32.8%; see Table 5). In descriptive texts and dialogues, SMEs hardly ever occur with quotes, which possibly has to do with the genre in the case of descriptive texts – quotations are apparently less frequent in Chipaya descriptive texts – and with the low number of investigated dialogues (see above). The only other type of hypotactic transition where enclitics frequently appear is the one involving specifications. These are almost exclusively found in descriptive texts, providing the bulk of the 23.4% of SME-marked hypotactic transitions (see Table 5). I suggest that, once more, the predetermined contents and temporal sequence of folk tales make additional specifications less necessary, whereas delivering a descriptive text may lead to spontaneously added specifications (see above and Section 5.2). Note that the distribution of SMEs in dialogues is rather diverse and does not show any clear preferences. This probably has to do, again, with the dyadic and spontaneous nature of dialogues, where transitions cannot entirely be pre-planned and where the types of hypotactic transitions vary according to the communicative-pragmatic needs of the interlocutors.

In sum, SMEs occur mostly at the following transition types: at the beginning and end of a segment (paratactic transitions) as well as with specifications and quotes (hypotactic transitions). The percentage of SME-marked paratactic transitions is highest in descriptive texts, where SMEs occur at the end of a segment rather than at its beginning. This points to a greater segmentation at the paratactic level and a retrospective use of the enclitics. SMEs at hypotactic transitions occur almost only with specifications, where they contribute to the second-highest percentage of SMEs at hypotactic transitions (see Table 5). The greatest percentage of SME-marked hypotactic transitions, however, is found in folk stories, which is due to the number of quotes marked by an SME (see Tables 4 and 5). The overall percentage of SMEs in folk stories thus relates to the use of SMEs at hypotactic transitions, while in descriptive texts, paratactic and hypotactic transitions both contribute to the overall percentage. Dialogues do not show an equally clear distribution and paratactic and hypotactic transitions are accompanied by an SME to almost the same degree. Thus, while the usage of SMEs is sufficiently consistent to form a cross-genre pragmatic category of Chipaya, their frequency and the transition types that SMEs occur at are genre-specific.

A final remark concerns the scope of SMEs. With respect to discourse operators, Redeker (2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 341; emphasis in the original) states that the “minimal unit under consideration is [the] usually clausal idea unit (Chafe 1980Chafe, Wallace 1980 “The Deployment of Consciousness in the Production of a Narrative.” In The Pear Stories: Cognitive, Cultural, and Linguistic Aspects of Narrative Production, ed. by Wallace Chafe, 9–50. Norwood, New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Company.Google Scholar, 14)”.1313.According to Chafe (1980Chafe, Wallace 1980 “The Deployment of Consciousness in the Production of a Narrative.” In The Pear Stories: Cognitive, Cultural, and Linguistic Aspects of Narrative Production, ed. by Wallace Chafe, 9–50. Norwood, New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Company.Google Scholar, 14), an idea unit can be described in terms of intonation, which tends to be clause-final at the end of such an idea unit; pausing, where an idea unit is separated from other units by a slightly or clearly noticeable hesitation; and, finally, syntax, where “there is a tendency for idea units to consist of a single clause” (ibid.). Taking up Redeker’s suggestion, I propose that Chipaya SMEs at hypotactic transitions have scope only over the clause they appear in (see e.g. line 15 in Section 5.1 and lines 5–5b and 6 in Section 5.2). While the clause can be described as the minimal unit a discourse operator has scope over, Redeker (2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 341) does not provide an equally clearly distinguishable maximal unit. However, she points to her own definition of a discourse operator, which posits “that the relation marked by the operator has to involve ‘the discourse unit it introduces’” (ibid.), suggesting that this allows for discourse operators to have paragraphs or entire chapters in their scope. Thus, I propose that SMEs at paratactic transitions have scope over at least the segment the beginning or end of which they occur in. If there is no shift in salience from one segment to the next, their scope may even extend over two (or more) segments (see e.g. lines 2–12 in Section 5.1).

5.Case studies1414.A list of selected lexical and grammatical elements is provided in the Appendix.

In this section, I discuss excerpts from two Chipaya texts to substantiate the claim that SMEs occur at paratactic and hypotactic transitions, where they indicate a shift in salience, thereby contributing to creating discourse coherence. The excerpts come from the following texts:

  • DAT 26–1, ‘The fox and the armadillo’: a folk tale in which the fox and the armadillo compete over the king’s daughter, who is pregnant by the armadillo (Section 5.1);

  • animales ‘animals’: a description of the roles the different animals have in traditional Chipaya folk stories (i.e. ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ animals) (Section 5.2).

The line numbering in Sections 5.1 and 5.2 is mine and refers only to the excerpts discussed here, i.e. line (1) is not the opening line of the text itself. Information presented in brackets either marks discourse referents not overtly realised in the Chipaya text but added to the English translation for the sake of comprehensibility, or else contains a more idiomatic English translation (see e.g. line 12 in Section 5.1). Lexical discourse markers are given in blue, while the declarative marker is set in green. SMEs are in bold and red. The equivalents are marked accordingly in the English translation.

5.1A folk story: The fox and the armadillo (DAT 26–1)

The text was produced by a middle-aged, male Chipaya speaker, trilingual in Chipaya, Aymara and Spanish, who is an accomplished narrator. The recording was done semi-spontaneously, i.e. during a recording session the speaker volunteered to provide the text.

(1) nuʐkiʂ ni wawaki phutʃkiʂ paqtʃikitʂa Thus, the child grew= decl in the belly.”
(2) nuʐkiʂ wawa ʐ mathtan Thus, when the child= cl was born,”
(3) wawa mathtakhen “because the child was born,”
(4) ni reyki tuʐ khitʃikitʂa “the king said= decl so:”
(5) xe:kʐtat xaʂi ti wawa ‘‘‘Whose child is this?’’’
(6) ti wawax perʂuna eph paxla khikan “Saying that this child should recognise the father personally,”
(7) thappatʃa ti yoqkiʂ ʐeɭɲi animalanaka qhawʂikitʂa “he called= decl all the animals that exist in this world.”
(8) ni wawa eph perʂuna paxaxu “This child should personally recognise the father.”
(9) neqhʂtan ni wawa thuɭʐtikiʂ ni:ʐ yukhkiʂ watqattʃikitʂa Then where the child was seated, he [i.e. the king] made them [i.e. the animals] go= decl by in front of him [i.e. the child].”
(10) ni animala weʐlanaka thapaman weʐlanaka “These animals, birds, all birds,”
(11) qhaʂkiʂ ʐeɭɲi qhoɲkin ʐeɭɲi “that are in the water, that are on dry land.”
(12) nuʐkiʂ ni wawa ana ʂinta wawaq xe:kmi eph paxkitʂa Thus, this child did not recognise= decl a single one [i.e. no one] as [his] father.”
(13) nuʐkiʂ qitiki ʐ thontʃi Thus the fox= cl came.”
(14) qiti ni wawʐ yukhkiʂ aɲtʃa khurʂ xwatxwatʐinkixa “The fox wagged= decl his tail wildly in front of the child,”
(15) tata ʐ khe: tata ʐ khe: khi:kan “saying ‘Say father= cl , say father= cl [i.e. call me ‘father’]!’.”
(16) wawaʂte tʃʔuxuqaʂ ana ʂinta tʂhulumi tʃi: “But the child did not name a single one.”
(17) neqhʂtan wiri thiyaʎa kerkaki ʐ thoɲtʃi Then, last the armadillo= cl came.”

In line 1, the narrator gives a one-line summary of the introduction to his tale, which he had just delivered (not displayed here). The summary also marks the beginning of the actual story. Line 1 is introduced by the lexical discourse marker nuʐkiʂ ‘thus’, summarising the previous meeting of the princess with the armadillo and her pregnancy resulting from it (see Schiffrin 1987Schiffrin, Deborah 1987Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 201–202 on the English lexical discourse marker so; see also Section 2.1). Line 1 is closed with the declarative marker =tʂa, which attaches to the clause-final finite verb paq-tʃi=ki=tʂa ‘it grew’. The lexical discourse marker and the declarative marker thus enclose the summary in line 1, thereby marking it as a discourse segment of its own.

lines 2 to 8 comprise a new segment with a paratactic transition from line 1 to line 2. The new segment is introduced in line 2 by the lexical discourse marker nuʐkiʂ ‘thus’, which, again, refers to the outcome of the princess’s and the armadillo’s meeting. The SME =ʐ attaches to the third-person singular masculine subject wawa ‘child’, which is thus made salient and established as a major character of the discourse segment. This includes a shift of salience from the princess’s encounter with the armadillo and her pregnancy, which was described in the introduction of the tale, to the now born child. With the birth of the child, the story picks up speed and it serves as a catalyst for the calling out of the animals (line 7), in the context of which the two main characters of the story, the fox and the armadillo, also make their appearances (lines 13 and 17, respectively). The SME attaches to the subject of a subordinate clause, which suggests that syntactic salience and pragmatic salience do not necessarily always coincide. Presumably because of the high salience of the child’s birth the narrator repeats that the child is born in line 3.

Lines 2 to 6 form one syntactic unit, where the main clause comes in line 4. There, the utterance verb khi-tʃi=ki=tʂa ‘he said’ carries the declarative marker =tʂa, which marks it as the main verb, while the third-person singular masculine subject of the main clause is ni rey=ki ‘the king’. In Chipaya, the verb base khi- ‘say’ indicates the beginning and/or end of verbatim language and thus belongs to the “formulas of quotation” (Longacre 1996Longacre, Robert E. 1996The Grammar of Discourse. Second edition. New York/London: Plenum Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 11; see also Holt 1996Holt, Elizabeth 1996 “Reporting on Talk: The Use of Direct Reported Speech in Conversation.” Research on Language and Social Interaction 29: 219–245. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 224, on English). The utterance verbs khi-tʃi=ki=tʂa ‘he said’ in line 4 and khi-kan ‘saying’ in line 6 bracket the king’s direct and indirect speech delivered in lines 5 and 6. Although there are hypotactic transitions from lines 4 to 5 and 6 to 7, no enclitic is used as there is no shift in salience that would warrant use of an SME.

Lines 7 and 8 present a new sentence, where the main clause is in line 7, marked as such by the declarative =tʂa on the main verb qhaw-ʂi=ki=tʂa ‘he called’. The subordinate clause in line 8 represents an almost verbatim repetition of the king’s indirect speech provided in line 6.

Lines 9 to 12 present a new segment with a paratactic transition from line 8 to line 9. This is indicated by the lexical discourse marker neqhʂtan ‘then’ at the beginning of line 9, which temporally links the new segment with the preceding one. In lines 9 to 12, no major referent is introduced and those referents that are mentioned for the first time – the animals and birds in lines 10 and 11 – are not further specified and do not play a role in the remainder of the story. Instead, the discourse referents that were active in the preceding segment – the king and the child – also remain active in this new segment and there is thus no shift in salience (see also Section 2.2). Accordingly, no SME is used here. This suggests that the SME in line 2 has scope not only over the segment from lines 2 to 8, but also over this segment from lines 9 to 12 (see also Section 4). The segment is closed in line 12 by the lexical discourse nuʐkiʂ ‘thus’, which summarises the result of the animals parading in front of the child: the child does not recognise any of the assembled animals as his father. The sentence in line 12 is marked as being syntactically independent by the declarative marker =tʂa on the verb pax=ki=tʂa ‘recognise’.

The paratactic transition from line 12 to line 13, which introduces a new segment (lines 13 to 16), is once more marked by the lexical discourse marker nuʐkiʂ ‘thus’, which expresses that the appearance of the fox results from the king’s order that all animals shall parade in front of the child. The SME =ʐ (preceded by the reportative marker =ki) attaches to the third-person singular masculine subject qiti ‘fox’. Making the fox – with whom one of the two major characters of the folk tale enters the scene – salient entails a shift in salience, away from the king and the child in the preceding two segments (i.e. lines 2 to 12) to the newly introduced referent of the fox. The scope of the enclitic comprises the current segment. The motion verb thon- ‘come’ introduces the fox. Despite the missing declarative marker on the verb thon-ʧi ‘he came’, the clause in line 13 is syntactically a main clause. The verb thon-ʧi ‘he came’ is inflected with the tense marker -ʧi, which co-references a third-person singular masculine subject in the completive past and attaches to main verbs only. Usually, the main verb of a Chipaya clause takes the declarative marker (see lines 1, 4, 7, 9, 12, 14) and omitting it is marked. Of course, non-use of the declarative marker does not automatically create a pragmatically marked utterance but does so in this particular context where a verb marked as finite by the tense marker -ʧi does not take the expected declarative marker. The marked form of the main verb in line 13 draws further attention to the clause, thus singling it out as a particularly important clause. If this interpretation is correct, then the clause in line 13 is made salient by three different devices: by the lexical discourse marker that announces the beginning of a new segment; by the SME on the subject of the clause, which highlights the fox as a major character within the clause and the segment and signals a shift in salience; and, finally, by the missing declarative marker on the main verb.

The clauses in lines 14 to 16 form one syntactic unit, with the main clause appearing in line 14. In line 15, the direct speech of the fox is delivered and marked by the utterance verb khi- ‘say’, which carries the subordination marker -kan, expressing coreferentiality and simultaneousness with the subject of the main clause (here: the fox). The phrase ‘say father [call me father]’ is doubled and accordingly, the SME =ʐ, attached to tata ‘father’, also occurs twice. This is a hypotactic transition. By taking the enclitic, the word tata ‘father’ is made salient and marked as the most important constituent within the direct speech of the fox. Moreover, salience is momentarily shifted from the fox to the figure of the father (although the referent of both expressions is the fox). However, the alleged father is salient only within the direct speech of the fox, i.e. line 15, and the salience-marking =ʐ has scope only over this clause (see Section 4).1515.Quotes are, of course, transitions of speakers where a narrator indicates that the following part of the discourse is not be attributed to him- or herself but to (a) character(s) within the discourse universe (see e.g. Holt 1996Holt, Elizabeth 1996 “Reporting on Talk: The Use of Direct Reported Speech in Conversation.” Research on Language and Social Interaction 29: 219–245. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 220–221, referring to Coulmas 1986Coulmas, Florian (ed.) 1986Direct and Indirect Speech. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 2). Two issues require a closer look: the choice of the word for ‘father’, tata, and that of the enclitic itself. The use of tata ‘father’ is remarkable because it is based on Quechua taita ‘father’; the Chipaya word for ‘father’ is eph (see line 6). The reason for this choice is not overly clear, but it may have to do with markedness again. Using a loan word is allegedly more marked than using the native lexical item (see Myers Scotton 1983Myers Scotton, Carol 1983 “The Negotiation of Identities in Conversation: A Theory of Markedness and Code Choice.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language 44: 115–136. CrossrefGoogle Scholar; see also Gardner-Chloros 2009Gardner-Chloros, Penelope 2009Code-Switching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 67, 69) and this marked lexical choice is another means to draw attention to the discourse referent of the alleged father (alongside use of the SME) (Gumperz 1982Gumperz, John J. 1982Discourse Strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 61, 75–76; see also Gardner-Chloros 2009Gardner-Chloros, Penelope 2009Code-Switching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 67, 69). Should this be correct, then this pattern is reminiscent of the one found in line 13, where the lexical discourse marker, the SME and the omitted declarative marker each contribute to making the clause particularly salient. The choice of the SME =ʐ is actually an error by the narrator: the verb form used in line 15 is an imperative and the subject is thus a second-person singular (since the fox addresses the child directly by saying: ‘call me father’). The appropriate enclitic would have been =m instead of =ʐ, which co-references a third-person singular masculine subject (see Table 1). This error probably reflects the narrator who is coming through here, i.e. although the narrator lends his voice to the character of the fox, he fails to reflect this change of perspective in the choice of the enclitic.

With line 17 a new segment begins (the rest of which is not shown here) and there is another paratactic transition from line 16 to line 17. Line 17 is parallel in structure and content to line 13, in which the fox arrives. Here, the second main character of the folk tale enters the scene, the armadillo. The new segment in line 17 is opened by a lexical discourse marker neqhʂtan ‘then’, which indicates that the following events succeed those presented in the preceding segment. The lexically expressed third-person subject kerka ‘armadillo’ takes the SME =ʐ (as well as the reportative marker =ki) and the function of the enclitic is the same as in line 13: it directs the addressee’s attention to this new character, signalling that the armadillo is pivotal in the following segment. This involves a shift in salience, from the fox in the preceding segment to the armadillo. Again, the main verb is thon- ‘come’, which introduces the armadillo and does not take a declarative marker, either. I propose that the reason for omitting the declarative marker is the same as discussed for line 13. Thus, the clauses in lines 13 and 17 are marked thrice: by the lexical discourse marker, the SME and the omission of the declarative marker.

5.2A descriptive text: Animales ‘animals’

The text was provided by the same speaker as in Section 5.1. It was also provided semi-spontaneously.

(1) atʃiku atʃikuʂaqaʂ ʐeɭtʂa kintunakkiʂ “The mouse; there are= decl also stories about the mouse.”
(2) atʃikuki – niʐtaʂaqaʂ aɲtʃa kinturar animalatʂa “The mouse – [it] is thus also an animal= decl about which there are many stories.”
(3) tiki thaɲitʂa “It is a thief= decl ;”
(4) xaʎa niʐtikʂta aɲtʃa ʐonʐkiʂ tʂhaxwqatʐ tiki then therefore it is much hated= decl by the people.”
(5) ʐonʐ tʂherinaka ʐ luɭtʂa qhujkiʂ luʂku “Entering the house, it eats= decl the people’s food= cl .”
(5a) kulanaka ʐ luɭtʂa “It eats= decl the quinoa= cl .”
(5b) arusanaka ʐ luɭtʂa “It eats= decl the rice= cl .”
(5c) hul tʂherimeqaʂ luɭtʂa ti atʃikuki “Whatever food there is, this mouse eats= decl it.”
(6) sakunaka maʐanaka ʐ phettʂa “It makes= decl holes into the sacks and woven sacks= cl .”
(7) tiki thaɲ thaɲ animalatʂa “It is a thieving, thieving animal= decl .”
(8) xaʎa niʐtikʂtan tik tʂhaxwtatʂa Then therefore this [i.e. it] is hated= decl .”

The text comprises only two segments, the first of which includes lines 1 to 3. In line 1, the speaker announces that he is going to talk about the mouse. This statement is repeated in line 2, where the speaker now uses the lexical discourse marker niʐta ‘thus’, thereby summarising his statement from line 1.1616.Both nuʐ and niʐta are translated as ‘so, thus’ (see Section 2.1). Usually, lexical discourse markers introduce or close a segment (see Section 5.1 and lines 4 and 8 here). It is thus remarkable that the lexical discourse marker only comes in the middle of the segment and not at its beginning and/or end. This can be explained if one consults the audio recording. After having finished the previous paragraph about the toad (not shown here), it seems that the idea of talking about the mouse next strikes the speaker rather spontaneously (line 1; see also Section 4). In line 2, the speaker starts again with atʃiku=ki ‘the mouse’, which is followed by a break of 1.46 seconds (symbolised by a dash) before the speaker starts again with the lexical discourse marker niʐta ‘thus’. It therefore seems that the speaker was not entirely certain about how to proceed after his initial statement that he is going to talk about the mouse, thus repeats the upcoming topic (i.e. the mouse) in line 2, takes a break and, after having decided upon what to say next, starts anew, this time with a lexical discourse marker which marks the actual beginning of the paragraph on the mouse. The segment is then closed in line 3 by the statement that the mouse is a thief.

There is a paratactic transition from line 3 to line 4, introducing the second segment from lines 4 to 8. Regarding contents, the paratactic transition is not as pronounced as some of those discussed in Section 5.1 and line 4 could also be understood as a specification, i.e. a hypotactic transition, of the proposition uttered in line 3. However, the speaker sets the topic for the following segment – the people’s dislike of the mouse and the reasons for it – in line 4 and this, in conjunction with the two lexical discourse markers, suggests an interpretation as a paratactic transition. Although it has been proposed that the lexical discourse marker xaʎa ‘then’ expresses a temporal succession (see Section 2.1), it appears that here it is used instead in a causal sense, not unlike the second lexical discourse marker niʐta ‘thus’.1717.The form niʐti instead of niʐta in lines 4 and 8 is caused by the following separative marker -kiʂtana (see Cerrón-Palomino 2006Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo 2006El chipaya o la lengua de los hombres del agua [Chipaya or the Language of the People of the Water]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.Google Scholar, 87), which also contributes to the causal interpretation of niʐti-kiʂtan(a) as ‘therefore’. However, this is subject to further research. A hypotactic transition follows line 4, where line 5 presents an explication of why people hate mice: because they eat the people’s food. Accordingly, the direct-object noun phrase ʐon-ʐ tʂheri-naka=ʐ ‘the people’s food’ takes the enclitic and is thus marked as being salient, since it provides the reason for why people hate mice. Salience is shifted from the people’s hatred to the food eaten by the mice. Lines 5a and 5b present further hypotactic transitions from the proposition given in line 5 and are specifications of it. In both lines, the kind of food eaten by the mice is further detailed and consequently, the constituents expressing the specification, kula-naka=ʐ ‘quinoa’ and arusa-naka=ʐ ‘rice’, are each made salient by means of an enclitic. This involves shifting salience from the more general expression ‘the people’s food’ in line 5 to the specifications in lines 5a and 5b. Note the parallel structure of these two lines. Line 5c presents a summary of the preceding two lines, where the speaker states that whatever food there is, it is eaten by the mice. Line 6 is a further explication of the speaker’s initial statement that people hate mice in line 4: not only do mice eat food, they also destroy the sacks in which the food is kept, thereby providing another reason for disliking mice. Line 6 is thus another hypotactic transition from the speaker’s introducing statement in line 4. Here, salience shifts from the foodstuff discussed previously to the sacks and woven sacks that are destroyed by the mice and in accordance with this, the direct-object noun phrase saku-naka maʐa-naka=ʐ ‘sacks [and] woven sacks’ is marked with an enclitic. As the expressions are coordinated, the enclitic =ʐ has scope over both. In line 7, the speaker repeats his statement from line 3 that the mouse is a thieving animal. Finally, the segment is closed in line 8 by a summarising repetition of line 4, which initiated the segment. Again, line 8 contains the lexical discourse markers xaʎa niʐta ‘then therefore’, which close the segment (see Section 3, Table 4). There is a structural parallelism between lines 4 and 8 and the lexical discourse markers function as next-segment and end-of-segment markers (see Redeker 2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 345; see also Section 2.2). All clauses in these segments are syntactically independent and there is no syntactic subordination as is the case in the folk story discussed in Section 5.1. This may relate to the more predetermined structure of folk stories (see Section 4), where syntactically more complex constructions may be memorised as part of the story and neatly delivered upon recounting the tale, whereas in a spontaneously provided description, like the one here, speakers tend to produce syntactically less complex sentences.

6.Conclusions

I have argued that the forms =l, =m and =ʐ of Chipaya are SMEs that make referents and elements in a discourse salient and thereby indicate a shift in salience. As such, they occur at paratactic and hypotactic transitions, thus contributing to creating discourse coherence. They are thus discourse operators in the sense of Redeker (2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 341). However, the enclitics occur only at those discourse transitions that involve a shift in salience. Based on this, I have suggested that SMEs at paratactic transitions have scope over at least the segment they appear in. If there is no shift in salience, scope can extend over more than one segment. SMEs at hypotactic transitions have scope only over the clause they appear in. Use of the SMEs is genre-specific. In Section 4, it was shown that in descriptive texts the enclitics are used retrospectively rather than prospectively. Also, in descriptive texts, the enclitics occur mainly at those hypotactic transitions that involve specifications, whereas in folk stories, the enclitics occur only at hypotactic transitions that include quotes. The overall percentage of SME-marked transitions in descriptive texts is due to paratactic and hypotactic transitions with an SME, while in folk stories, it is brought about by hypotactic transitions involving quotes (see Tables 4 and 5). It has been suggested that the potential to pre-plan the segmentation of a text influences the frequency and distribution of the SMEs. Despite the relatively low number of transitions with SMEs (see Tables 3 and 4 in Section 4) I suggest that the SMEs form a cross-genre pragmatic category of Chipaya. Moreover, it also shows that structures such as the Chipaya SMEs cannot be satisfactorily captured by a sentence grammar alone but have to be described in terms of a discourse grammar.

From a cross-linguistic perspective, the features of the Chipaya SMEs are rather uncommon: they are coreferential with the subject of a clause but are not necessarily attached to it, while their use with a first- or second-person subject referent is ungrammatical. Furthermore, use of the Chipaya enclitics is non-obligatory and genre-specific. Elements such as the Chipaya SMEs are rarely described in the literature. This suggests that further research into the processes of discourse structuring and creating discourse coherence of so far lesser studied languages is required.

Funding

Research on the Chipaya salience-marking enclitics was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft , whose support is gratefully acknowledged (grant number: HA 6340/4–1).

Acknowledgements

First, I would like to thank the editor Helmut Gruber as well as two anonymous reviewers for their helpful and inspiring comments and suggestion. I also owe thanks to the Chipaya speakers for sharing their language with me. I am equally indebted to my colleagues at the University of Cologne and elsewhere for their helpful comments on (the many) previous versions of the paper. Special thanks go to Isabel Compes and Daniel Kölligan, who set me on the trail of shifts in salience. All remaining errors are mine.

Notes

1.DobeS = Dokumentation bedrohter Sprachen, Documentation of Endangered Languages.
2.For the abbreviations, see the Appendix.
3.In cases where an SME attaches to a third-person direct object and co-references either a third-person singular masculine, first-person plural inclusive, second-person plural or third-person plural subject, it may seem as if the SME is actually coreferential with the direct object rather than the subject (see e.g. lines 5 to 5b and 6 in Section 5.2). However, SMEs are always coreferential with the subject, as is also confirmed by our language consultant.
4.Aikhenvald (2002Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2002 “Typological Parameters for the Study of Clitics, with Special Reference to Tariana.” In Word: A Cross-Linguistic Typology, ed. by Robert M. W. Dixon, and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, 42–78. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar, 47) further mentions that floating clitics often express focus or emphasis. Her observation is thus in accordance with the function of the Chipaya enclitics as salience-marking devices proposed here.
5.Locative adjuncts as hosts of an SME are attested only twice.
6.That there are more than twice as many third-person subject enclitics than first- or second-person subject enclitics relates to the fact that a considerable part of the Chipaya corpus consists of folk tales, where subjects are usually a third person.
7.The two exceptions refer to line 15 in Section 5.1. There, speaker and referent are identical, but the speaker uses a third-person expression – ‘father’ – to refer to himself.
8.Semantic-pragmatic relationships of coordination and subordination are, of course, also reflected in the formal structure of a text, as is the case with, for instance, markers of syntactic subordination.
9.Redeker (2006Redeker, Gisela 2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions.” In Approaches to Discourse Particles, ed. by Kerstin Fischer, 339–358. Oxford/Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar, 345) further distinguishes between “‘push’-markers signalling the beginning of a parenthetical segment, and ‘pop’-markers signalling the return from a parenthetical segment”. This distinction is not taken into consideration here, as the Chipaya markers that appear at the beginning and at the end of parenthetical material do not differ formally.
10.See: https://​archive​.mpi​.nl/ (27 December 2019).
11.The term “mainline” is adopted from Longacre (1996Longacre, Robert E. 1996The Grammar of Discourse. Second edition. New York/London: Plenum Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 21–23).
12.I owe this formulation to an anonymous reviewer.
13.According to Chafe (1980Chafe, Wallace 1980 “The Deployment of Consciousness in the Production of a Narrative.” In The Pear Stories: Cognitive, Cultural, and Linguistic Aspects of Narrative Production, ed. by Wallace Chafe, 9–50. Norwood, New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Company.Google Scholar, 14), an idea unit can be described in terms of intonation, which tends to be clause-final at the end of such an idea unit; pausing, where an idea unit is separated from other units by a slightly or clearly noticeable hesitation; and, finally, syntax, where “there is a tendency for idea units to consist of a single clause” (ibid.).
14.A list of selected lexical and grammatical elements is provided in the Appendix.
15.Quotes are, of course, transitions of speakers where a narrator indicates that the following part of the discourse is not be attributed to him- or herself but to (a) character(s) within the discourse universe (see e.g. Holt 1996Holt, Elizabeth 1996 “Reporting on Talk: The Use of Direct Reported Speech in Conversation.” Research on Language and Social Interaction 29: 219–245. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 220–221, referring to Coulmas 1986Coulmas, Florian (ed.) 1986Direct and Indirect Speech. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. CrossrefGoogle Scholar, 2).
16.Both nuʐ and niʐta are translated as ‘so, thus’ (see Section 2.1).
17.The form niʐti instead of niʐta in lines 4 and 8 is caused by the following separative marker -kiʂtana (see Cerrón-Palomino 2006Cerrón-Palomino, Rodolfo 2006El chipaya o la lengua de los hombres del agua [Chipaya or the Language of the People of the Water]. Lima: Fondo Editorial de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.Google Scholar, 87), which also contributes to the causal interpretation of niʐti-kiʂtan(a) as ‘therefore’.
18.Adapted from Spanish arroz, ‘rice’.

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Appendix.List of selected lexical and grammatical elements mentioned in the text

Lexical elements

arusa 1818.Adapted from Spanish arroz, ‘rice’. ‘rice’
atʃiku ‘mouse’
khi- ‘say’
kula ‘quinoa’
paq- ‘grow’
pax- ‘recognise’
qhaw- ‘to call’
rey (Sp.) ‘king’
thon- ‘come’
heri ‘food’
ʐon(i) ‘man, person’

Grammatical elements

-kan subordination marker, expressing simultaneousness and coreferentiality with the subject of the main clause
=khen reason marker (reason)
=ki (preceding the declarative marker) reportative marker (rep)
=ki (final element on (pro)nouns) topic marker (top)
-naka (pro)nominal plural marker
ni definite article with masculine nouns (art.masc)
-ʂi allomorph of-tʃi
-ta simple past tense marker (pst)
-tan subordination marker, expressing non-coreferentialiy and non-simultaneousness with the subject of the main clause (SUBORD)
=tʂa declarative marker (decl)
-tʃi third-person singular masculine subject in the completive past tense (compl.3sg.masc)
-ʐ (pro)nominal possessive marker
salience-marking enclitic; here: third-person singular masculine (sal)

Address for correspondence

Katja Hannß

Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1

D-80539 München

Germany

Katja.Hannss@lrz.uni-muenchen.de

Biographical notes

After having obtained a Master’s degree in Americanist Studies and Linguistics from Bonn University, the author conducted her PhD project at the Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands), in which she described the extinct Uru language (aka Uchumataqu). Further stations of the author’s career include Stirling (UK), Constance, Regensburg and Cologne. Since April 2020 the author represents the professorship at the Institute of General and Typological Linguistics at the Ludwig-Maximilians University at Munich. Central topics of the author’s research are pragmatic and discourse studies, language contact and language documentation.