Events

In this talk we explore adjunct extraction in two Mayan languages, Kaqchikel and Tz'utujiil. It has been reported previously that extraction of low adjuncts in some Mayan languages triggers a special particle attached to the verb (e.g. Where did John buy-PRT the car ). The nature of such morpheme, however, as well as its relation with other properties of clause structure such as transitivity and the type of adjunct under extraction is much less discussed (Henderson 2008). We will start by giving an overview of Mayan syntax, focusing on word order, case marking, agreement, and syntactic ergativity. We will then present the results of our research conducted in the Guatemalan Field Station last summer, where we collaborated with consultants and tested the extraction behavior of different types of adjuncts (locative, benefactive, instrumental, and comitative) in both transitive and intransitive clauses. For each type of adjunct, we tested three types of displacement: wh-question formation, focus fronting, and relativization. We will raise several analytical options for the nature of these fronting particles and present a preliminary test applied to PatzĂșn Kaqchikel regarding long distance extraction and island sensitivity, in order to tease out the validity of each proposal. We will finally discuss other similar phenomena within and outside the Mayan family, outlining future directions for this line of research.