From ‘complexity’ to ‘simplexity’: A diasystemic approach to Mazatec inflectional classes

AMERINDIA 41: 199-240, 2019

Paris-Sorbonne, EA 4509 (STIH)

Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3, STL (UMR 8163)


Abstract: Mazatec provides a good example for the internal variation in inflectional class systems within a large dialectal continuum. This chapter provides first-hand data on a few Mazatec dialects over the Highlands and Midlands dialects, highlighting a number of important issues beyond the specific properties already known about this language in terms of inflectional complexity. The chapter is a first attempt to provide a comprehensive diasystemic description and modeling of this variation. We propose that disentangling this complexity by way of the concept of ‘symplexity’ is as important as describing intricate patterns within an inflectional system.

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