Coahuilteco
Native toMexico, United States
RegionCoahuila, Texas
EthnicityQuems, Pajalat, etc.
Extinctnot attested after 18th century
Hokan ?
Dialects
  • Pajalat
Language codes
ISO 639-3xcw
xcw
Glottologcoah1252
Coahuilteco lang.png
Coauhuilteco language
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Coahuilteco was one of the Pakawan languages that was spoken in southern Texas (United States) and northeastern Coahuila (Mexico). It is now extinct.

Classification

Coahuilteco was grouped in an eponymous Coahuiltecan family by John Wesley Powell in 1891, later expanded by additional proposed members by e.g. Edward Sapir. Ives Goddard later treated all these connections with suspicion, leaving Coahuilteco as a language isolate. Manaster Ramer (1996) argues Powell's original more narrow Coahuiltecan grouping is sound, renaming it Pakawan in distinction from the later more expanded proposal.[1] This proposal has been challenged by Campbell,[2] who considers its sound correspondences unsupported and considers that some of the observed similarities between words may be due to borrowing.

Sounds

Consonants

Bilabial Inter-
dental
Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
plain labial
Nasal m n
Plosive/
Affricate
plain p t ts k (ʔ)
ejective tsʼ tʃʼ kʷʼ
Fricative (θ) s ʃ x h
Approximant plain l j w
ejective

Vowels

Front Central Back
Close i / iː u / uː
Mid e / eː o / oː
Open a / aː

Coahuilteco has both short and long vowels.[3]

Syntax

Based primarily on study of one 88-page document, Fray Bartolomé García's 1760 Manual para administrar los santos sacramentos de penitencia, eucharistia, extrema-uncion, y matrimonio: dar gracias despues de comulgar, y ayudar a bien morir, Troike describes two of Coahuilteco's less common syntactic traits: subject-object concord and center-embedding relative clauses.[4][5]

Subject-Object Concord

In each of these sentences, the object Dios 'God' is the same, but the subject is different, and as a result different suffixes (-n for first person, -m for second person, and -t for third person) must be present after the demonstrative tupo· (Troike 1981:663).

Dios

God

tupo·-n

DEM-1CON

naxo-xt'e·wal

1pS-annoy

wako·

CAUS

Dios tupo·-n naxo-xt'e·wal wako·

God DEM-1CON 1pS-annoy CAUS

'We annoyed God'

Dios

God

tupo·-m

DEM-2CON

xa-ka·wa

2S-love

xo

AUX

e?

Q

Dios tupo·-m xa-ka·wa xo e?

God DEM-2CON 2S-love AUX Q

'Do you love God?'

Dios

God

tupo·-t

DEM-3CON

a-pa-k'tace·y

3S-SUB-pray(PL)

Dios tupo·-t a-pa-k'tace·y

God DEM-3CON 3S-SUB-pray(PL)

'that (all) pray to God'

Center-embedding Relative Clauses

Troike (2015:135) notes that relative clauses in Coahuilteco can appear between the noun and its demonstrative (NP --> N (Srel) Dem), leading to a center-embedding structure quite distinct from the right-branching or left-branching structures more commonly seen in the world's languages.

One example of such a center-embedded relative clause is the following:

saxpame·

sins

pinapsa·i

you

[xami·n

(OBJ)

ei-Obj

 

xa-p-xo·]

2-sub-know

tupa·-n

DEM-1C

saxpame· pinapsa·i [xami·n ei-Obj xa-p-xo·] tupa·-n

sins you (OBJ) {} 2-sub-know DEM-1C

‘the sins (which) you know

The Coahuilteco text studied by Troike also has examples of two levels of embedding of relative clauses, as in the following example (Troike 2015:138):

pi·lam

people

apšap’a·kani

good.PL

[ei-SUBJ

 

pi·nwakta·j

things

[Dios

God

(∅)

(DEM)

pil’ta·j

pronj

a-pa-ta·nko]

3-sub-command

tuče·-t

DEM-3C

a-p-awa·y]

3-sub-do.PL

tupa·-t

DEM-3C

pi·lam apšap’a·kani [ei-SUBJ pi·nwakta·j [Dios (∅) pil’ta·j a-pa-ta·nko] tuče·-t a-p-awa·y] tupa·-t

people good.PL {} things God (DEM) pronj 3-sub-command DEM-3C 3-sub-do.PL DEM-3C

‘(He will carry to heaven) the good people [who do the things [that God commands]]’.

See also

References

  1. ^ Ramer, Alexis Manaster (1996). "Sapir's Classifications: Coahuiltecan". Anthropological Linguistics. 38 (1): 1–38. ISSN 0003-5483. JSTOR 30028442.
  2. ^ Campbell, Lyle (1996). "Coahuiltecan: A Closer Look". Anthropological Linguistics. 38 (4): 620–634. ISSN 0003-5483. JSTOR 30013048.
  3. ^ Troike, 1996
  4. ^ Troike, Rudolph C. (1981). "Subject-Object Concord in Coahuilteco". Language. 57 (3): 658–673. doi:10.2307/414344. ISSN 0097-8507. JSTOR 414344.
  5. ^ Troike, Rudolph C. (January 2015). "Center-Embedding Relative Clauses in Coahuilteco". International Journal of American Linguistics. 81 (1): 133–142. doi:10.1086/679045. ISSN 0020-7071. S2CID 141664014.

Bibliography