Keywords:animacy, Algonquian, Blackfoot, noun classification, aspect
Algonquian languages are famous for their animacy-based grammatical properties—an animacy based noun classification system and direct/inverse system which gives rise to animacy hierarchy effects in the determination of verb agreement. In this paper I provide new evidence for the proposal that the distinctive properties of these languages is due to the use of participant-based features, rather than spatio-temporal ones, for both nominal and verbal functional categories (Ritter & Wiltschko 2009, 2014). Building on Wiltschko (2012), I develop a formal treatment of the Blackfoot aspectual system that assumes a category Inner Aspect (cf. MacDonald 2008, Travis 1991, 2010). Focusing on lexical aspect in Blackfoot, I demonstrate that the classification of both nouns (Seinsarten) and verbs (Aktionsarten) is based on animacy, rather than boundedness, resulting in a strikingly different aspectual system for both categories.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).