A Grammar of Araona
James Cook University
RMW Dixon (series ed.)
This book is a comprehensive grammar of the language of the Araona, a Tacana language spoken in lowland Bolivia (Amazonia) by about 140 people. Their history, traditional beliefs, and current situation is presented in the introductory chapter followed by an typological introduction to the language.
Araona is an agglutinative, predominantly suffixing, and mildly polysynthetic language. Its phonology is characterized by a relatively simple phoneme inventory with complicated rules for stress assignment. Nouns and pronouns inflect for number (singular, dual and plural) and case. Relational nouns can indicate part-whole relationships and also location. Verbal categories include tense, mood, modality, evidentiality, aspect, directionals and posturals. Verbal categories can be divided into core verbal and non-core verbal categories.
The grammar covers most aspects of the language, with special attention to its typologically unusual features, such as case system, simple and complex predicates involving auxiliaries and transitivity agreement, and the system of personal pronouns and demonstratives based on clan division. A vocabulary list as well as four illustrative texts, supplied with morpheme-per-morpheme gloss, and free translations, are given in the appendix.