Aspect in Matsigenka

Summer 2016

Michael Dohn : Linguistics

Mentor: Lev Michael

Matsigenka is an Arawakan language spoken by about 10,000 people in and around southeastern Peru. The language is tenseless and utilizes a system of realis/irrealis contrast to encode temporal relations. In addition to this contrast, Matsigenka appears to employ the use of an aspectual system as another means of encoding temporality, though it is theorized to be void of proper aspect. To accomplish this, Matsigenka seems to contain two classes of morphemes which function with aspectual properties. My work this summer will focus in on these two sets of morphemes, and seek first to prove that neither are not full-fledged aspectual markers, and second to explain how they work together to form a full-fledged aspectual system.  

To the Wishek Foundation I wish to express my gratitude for giving me the opportunity to carry out my own unique research this summer. The ability to participate in research as an undergraduate has been a defining aspect of my academic career here at Cal, and I am so grateful to continue this summer. I hope to use this opportunity to produce meaningful work to benefit the academic, linguistic, and Matsigenka communities, as well as to advance my research career as a step towards graduate school. My sincerest thanks, Michael.