LWM 504: Zaniza Zapotec

Artikel-Nr.: ISBN 9783862886593
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Zaniza Zapotec


Natalie Operstein

University of California, Fullerton


Zaniza Zapotec, known to its speakers as /ɾiʐ ziniz/ ‘the word/language of Zaniza’ or simply /ɾiʐ-n/ ‘our word/language’, is an Otomanguean language spoken in the town of Santa María Zaniza in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The language is endangered and presently undocumented. The grammar outline presented in this book is based on the author’s fieldwork carried out in Mexico between 1999 and 2009, and is the first grammatical sketch of Zaniza Zapotec to appear in print.

Typical of Zapotec languages, Zaniza Zapotec has tones, stress, five vowel qualities, contrastive vowel phonations, and consonantal fortis-lenis contrast that comprises most of its twenty-seven consonant sounds. Its verbal system marks aspect and mood by prefixes; there is no overt morphological marking of tense. Most Zaniza Zapotec verbs come in opposite-valence pairs. In contrast to many related languages, there is a productive anti-causative/passive morpheme and an intricate system of interaction between negation and mood/aspect markers. Zaniza Zapotec has suppletion in both nouns and verbs, including with respect to the person of the recipient in the verb give.


ISBN 9783862886593. Languages of the World/Materials 504. 123pp.  2015.

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