A GRAMMAR OF IKA (CHIBCHAN, COLOMBIA)
This dissertation provides the first general treatment of the grammar of Ika, a Chibchan language of northeastern Colombia. An introductory chapter gives the typological characteristics of Ika, an SOV language, and summarizes phonology and morphophonemics. Following chapters discuss the major word classes, the noun phrase, case marking and postpositional phrases, the verb phrase, basic clause types, sentence formation, subordination, and pragmatics.
Several areas of special interest include: split ergativity, with limited ergative patterns in what is essentially a nominative-accusative language; a limited noun class system similar to that of the Athabaskan languages; a verb prefix that enables possessor ascension; zero anaphora and the participant reference system; topic continuity; and optional auxiliary verbs which serve to give clauses a topic-comment structuring.
The discussion of subordination includes relative clauses, nominalized clauses, and various types of complementation (e.g., indirect questions and resultant state complements). The chapter on sentence formation outlines the use of clause chaining to combine clauses into sentences, a process common in SOV languages. Some attention is given to the ways in which various grammatical phenomena interact with narrative structure, including, for example, a verb prefix which speakers may use to help specify important locations within a narrative.