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SIL Electronic Working Papers 2005-013

Participant referencing in Cashinahua

Author  Montag, Richard

The Panoan language group called Cashinahua are deep jungle hunter, horticulturalists living on the headwaters of the Purús River in eastern Peru and the Tarauacá River of western Brazil. They have a complex switch-reference system used to identify participants in dependent clause relations in any multiple clause utterance. This system is used in any speech situation to relate one clause to a following clause which may or may not be the next clause in the sequence; its referencing capacities are more obvious in narratives. After the participants have been introduced in narratives, hearers are able to track subjects and objects in long sentences, sometimes hundreds of clauses, when very few nouns or pronouns have been used to identify participants. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how this switch reference system works.

  Participant referencing in Cashinahua
Published  2005
Language  Kashinawa [cbs]
Country  Peru
Subjects  Clauses
Switch reference
Keywords  Brazil; Panoan language group; Cashinahua; Peru; complex switch-reference; Clauses; Switch reference