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Title: Formal and functional properties of grammatical aspect in Ayt Atta Tamazight
Author: Mauri, Simone
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 5939
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2015
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The primary aim of this thesis is to provide a description of the aspectual system of Ayt Atta Tamazight (henceforth AAT), a Berber language spoken in south-east Morocco. The thesis focuses on the role of aspect in narration and shows that the association of stativity with perfective marking and the properties of the chainedaorist construction jointly contribute to the observed distribution of verb forms in discourse. Furthermore, my thesis investigates the chained-aorist construction and proposes a novel analysis of it. The close scrutiny of AAT chained-aorist constructions suggests downplaying the role of sequentiality from the centrality previously attributed to it: even data from typically-sequential texts such as main storylines show the limitations of any account of aspect in discourse solely resting on the notion of sequentiality. This work suggests analysing the AAT chained-aorist construction in terms of initial-consecutive clause chaining. The initial-consecutive chaining form is analysed as a narrative device adopted to ensure textual cohesion. The analysis put forward here rests on an investigation of chained-aorist constructions across Berber alongside a cross-linguistic overview of the formal properties of clause chaining: this shows the previously-unreported presence of striking similarities between Berber and a number of other languages, including many affiliated to the Niger-Congo language family. From a typological point of view, this proves that initial-consecutive clause chaining is not as rare as previously thought. The study is also relevant to areal linguistics, since it might point to the existence of a large linguistic area including Moroccan Berber and a number of Berber dialects spoken across the Sahara, as well as languages affiliated to the Niger-Congo family. Another important outcome of this dissertation is a sketch grammar of AAT. This contributes to Berber dialectology by describing a variety spoken in an area littleinvestigated so far. It shows that AAT is similar to related varieties but still presents some specificity which will be of some interest to those scholars of Berber particularly interested in Berber typology and micro-variations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral