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Degree achievements and degree morphemes in competition in Southern Aymara

Abstract

In this paper, I give an account of degree achievements in Southern Aymara, an understudied Andean language. I focus on degree achievements that are derived from gradable bases by means of the verbal suffix -cha, e.g., llusk’a -cha-ña ‘to straighten’ or q’añu -cha-ña ‘to dirty’. I provide arguments suggesting that Aymara should be analyzed as a degree language (Bochnak in Semant Pragmat 8(6):1–48, 2015b). I further propose an analysis of Aymara degree achievements in terms of a differential measure function (Kennedy and Levin, in: McNally, Kennedy (eds) Adjectives and adverbs: syntax, semantics and discourse. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 156–182, 2008) The main point argued for in this paper is that this language has two degree morphemes in competition (Heim, in: von Stechow, Wunderlich (eds) Semantik: ein internationales Handbuch der zeitgenössischen Forschung. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, pp 487–535, 1991) combining with degree achievements, namely, a covert verbal positive morpheme v.pos and the overt morpheme -su. The latter restricts the standard of comparison to change where maximal values are reached, so it is preferred over v.pos when such values are targeted. v.pos is thus felicitous when the maximum is not reached. I propose an initial typology that distinguishes how telicity is achieved cross-linguistically when degree achievements are considered.

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Correspondence to Gabriel Martínez Vera.

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Martínez Vera, G. Degree achievements and degree morphemes in competition in Southern Aymara. Linguist and Philos 44, 695–735 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10988-020-09299-3

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Keywords

  • Gradable predicate
  • Degree achievement
  • Telicity
  • Maximize Presupposition
  • Aymara