The syntax-semantic interface in Yaqui complex sentences: A role and reference grammar analysis
Guerrero Valenzuela, Lilian Graciela
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This dissertation examines complex constructions in Yaqui and proposes an analysis within a Role and Reference Grammar (RRG) framework that links the syntactic and semantic representations of the constructions. The study is organized in two main components. The descriptive component addresses which units are involved in simple clauses. Chapter two provides the basic morpho-syntactic characteristics of the language. Chapter three introduces the basic theoretical principles and analyzes the verbal system. Chapter four investigates one-, two-, and three-place verbs, and demonstrates that the Actor-Undergoer Hierarchy needs to be modified in order to predict the undergoer selection in multiple object constructions. The explanatory component investigates three basic questions: (i) What are the units involved in complex sentences and what syntactic relations hold between them? (ii) Does Yaqui follow RRG's general assumptions as a theory of universal grammar? and (iii) Can RRG's theoretical assumptions elucidate Yaqui morpho-syntactic manifestations? Chapter five explores verbal and non-verbal causation. Chapter six analyses phase and psych-action predicates. Chapter seven examines perception, propositional attitude, cognition and discourse predicates. Chapter eight recapitulates the juncture-nexus types found, and lays out the linking process. One of the general findings of this study is that Yaqui-specific relations between the syntactic and semantic dimensions are mostly compatible but not identical to the cross-linguistic predictions of the Interclausal Relations Hierarchy. The language shows a marked shift from syntactic to morphological structure as going down the hierarchy. The juncture-nexus relationships allowed revealing the syntactic relations between the units involved. The semantic interclausal relations of the events permitted to better understand the relation of each predicate with its complement. However, it was the formal interaction of the semantic and syntactic representations of the sentence that enabled to understand the intriguing manifestations of complex sentences in the language.