Journal article Open Access

Ideophones, Adverbs, and Predicate Qualification in Upper Necaxa Totonac

Beck, David

Ideophones—sometimes called "expressives"—are familiar from descriptions of Afri- can languages and are now relatively well documented in a number of languages of Eur- asia, Oceania, and Australia. This paper examines ideophones in Upper Necaxa Totonac, a Mesoamerican language, details a number of their distinctive phonological, morpholog- ical, and semantic properties, and compares these with the properties of more traditional- looking adverbs. While ideophones do turn out to be distinguishable from adverbs on some grounds, in terms of their syntax they are shown not to be distinct, leading to the conclusion that ideophones in this language are best treated in terms of their part-of-speech classifi- cation as part of an overarching class of adverbial predicate-qualifiers.
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