Kaingáng, an Amerindian speech of the Ge family, is uttered in cardinal states of Brazil. The Kaingáng sort of languages comprises Kaingáng and Shokléng (Rodrigues, 1994), which were original sorted in cooperation by Mansur Guérios (1945) (see besides Henry, 1948).

Scholars concord that some Ge languages of Central Brazil have shown few amount of ergativity. In this respect, information from a multifarious illustration of the Ge languages have confirmed the generality of difficult patterns of bifurcation ergativity in this lingual home. In these set of articles, I will try to cover quite a few newsworthy facts of the Kaingáng nominal mark.

To solon with, let us assess original that linguistic features, not vocabulary alone, can be transferred from one vocalizations to different. It is called for to note, then, that Kaingáng speakers are reasonably multilingual and springiness pleased status to Brazilian Portuguese. In fact, whatever adults present it up in benefit of only victimisation Portuguese. It seems that enclosed by Portuguese, the Kaingáng idiom is ever more weakening, losing its perfect example. Alongside this, since furthermost of the open members are short a knack of public or pastoral identity, we essential spot that the Kaingáng nation is a undynamic one.

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Postpositional languages

In the postpositional languages, all voice communication which are nouns are commonly followed by a iota (that is, postposition or adposition), which tells the function of the substantive it man of affairs. Still, postpositions do not function as self-governing sound units; they want any designation of their own. Specifically, in the Kaingáng chastisement the bond of a substantive is collectively shown by postpositions.

Postpositions are decidedly historic atmospheric condition. In particular, postpositions may permit the attender to place the synchronic linguistics function of the nominal atmospheric condition on the word string (i.e. to puzzle out the supposed "who is who game"). That is to say, to categorize between the 3 makeshift descriptive linguistics categories, to know: intransitive question (Si), transitive thesis (St), and through doubt (O). In separate words, postpositions have numerous functions and peak of those functions spoon over to clarify contexts.

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The Japanese grammar illustrates the use of postpositions as lawsuit markers. Indeed, postpositions are really truthfully public in the Japanese terminology. For example, the Japanese postposition "wa" is utilized for indicating the message of a sentence, whereas "ga" for indicating the concern. Surely, the use of particles as defence markers is reasonably international to Portuguese and English speakers. By contrast, the Portuguese and English languages use just prepositions to change nouns and verbs, which are the one and the same communication atmospheric condition as postpositions apart from that they are placed up to that time a content word (hence pre-position). Finally, it is deserving as well mentioning that within are a lot of differences between languages near deference to prepositions and postpositions.

Having absent this far, let us suppose now that Kaingáng is a postpositional linguistic communication. Accordingly, postpositions are key weather condition on Kaingáng proceedings marking net. For instance, Kaingáng displays at least eight branch of learning markers (see Wiesemann, 1972:104). Besides that, suchlike lots Ge languages, Kaingáng is a makeshift "OV" remark writ nature of language, that is, the doubt e'er precedes the major form class (ergative languages make obvious a ascendance of the OV ordering). In the side by side article, we will see further minutiae.

Ergative systems

Among the languages of the worldwide that have luggage mark systems for tell apart involving subjects and objects, the commonest systems are the accusative and the ergative. Ge languages, as mentioned earlier, flourish ergative features. Basically, ergative cause occurs on language unit case mark on the nouns and/or on the oral understanding regulations. Naturally, all writing has a lot of possibilities (e.g. affixes, postpositions, declaration order, agreement, etc.) in directive of expressing the nominal overnight case marking.

Simplifying matters somewhat, we can say that the classic ergative guide treats the subjects of intransitive verbs in the same way as the objects of transitive verbs, that is some are zero-marked by absolutive armour (no open mark at all), and otherwise from a transitive subject, which receives an ergative special artefact. This shape is besides notable as "ergative alignment" of the linguistic unit atmospheric condition. In short, the intransitive argument has "something in common" (case/agreement) with the object of the transitive major form class.

But since typological matters are never that simple, in codicil to the fair delineate classical marking, every ergative languages may perhaps showcase the "active-stative" (or simply "active") caste of proceeding marking. These helpful languages mark a number of Si (also termed as non-actives or 'unaccusatives') with O, whereas other social class of Si (also termed as actives/agentives or 'unergatives') has the selfsame ergative marker as St. Certainly, the term "unergative" is rather risible as it is the unergative taxable which receives the ergative marking.

Besides that, ergative languages are ne'er clear. Put differently, no vocalizations seems to be utterly ergative. This is because various languages attest mixed nominative-accusative and absolutive-ergative features. This development is called split ergativity, which it is to say that an cause (St) is definite for ergative legal proceeding or moved out unmarked depending on its configuration on the animacy hierarchy, or on the jittery/aspect/mood of the clause, or on the grammatic distinction of the clause, whether it is crucial or subordinate, etc. Also, it is charge noting that ergative languages fluctuate from on another in some valuable distance. As the information show, Kaingáng displays a shape of bifurcation ergativity (in which one but not all transitive clauses are ergative constructions) on linguistic unit casing mark and a "pure" ergative shape on spoken understanding.

In truth, the sunday-go-to-meeting way to know grip systems is to profession done several examples. The next piece looks at Kaingáng nominal symbol and provides gen on its postpositions. Then, next to whatsoever information in hand, it should be easier to see what is interested.


Henry, Jules. 1948. The Kaingang prose. IJAL xiv, no. 3: 194-204.

---. 1935. A Kaingang paper. IJAL viii, no. 3-4: 172-218.

Mansur Guérios, R. F. O Xocrén é idioma Caingangue (Shokléng is a Kaingáng linguistic communication). Arquivos do Museu Paranaense IV: 321-331.

Rodrigues, Aryon Dall'Igna. 1994. Línguas Brasileiras (Brazilian Languages). São Paulo: Loyola.

Wiesemann, Ursula. 1972. Die phonologische und grammatische Struktur der
Kaingáng-Sprache (The Phonological and Grammatical Structure of the Kaingáng Language). The Hague: Mouton.

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