LWM 100: Bare

LWM 100: Bare

Artikel-Nr.: ISBN 9783895860508
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Alexandra Aikhenvald
Australian National University

Bare is a nearly extinct language, previously spoken by several thousands of people in the Upper Rio Negro region (Brazil, Venezuela). Under pressure of white invaders, speakers of Bare gradually switched to local lingua franca Língua Geral (Nheengatu). Though a considerable number of people in the Upper Rio Negro region of Brazil identify themselves as Bare (cf. barezinho, as a kind of generic term for Amazonians in Brazil), Bare is now extinct in Brazil, and is spoken only by a few old people in Venezuela.

The present grammar is based on the materials collected in 1991 from the last fluent speaker of Bare in Brazil - the late Candelário de Silva. Bare is remarkable for consonant aspiration and vowel nasalization as word and phrase prosodic parameters and the existence of special pausal forms used at the end of sentences. Stress placement and stress shifts depend on the accentual properties of morphemes. Open classes are: nouns, verbs, adjectives (which display a number of specific derivational affixes and traces of gender as a residual agreement category), adverbs. Closed classes are numerals, particles, pronouns. Nouns have the category of possession, with a distinction between alienable and inalienable possession, quite typical for North-Arawak languages. Gender as an agreement category is optional, which may be a language death phenomenon. Number is optional, as is the case in the majority of Arawak languages. Bare has a system of peripheral cases and double case marking. Verbs fall into transitive/active, which have cross-referencing prefixes, and intransitive stative, which do not have any cross-referencing.

ISBN 9783895860508. Languages of the World/Materials 100. 60pp. 1995.

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