Yaqui possessive constructions: evidence for external possession

AMERINDIA 42: 75-101, 2020

IIFL-Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Abstract: This paper revisits possessive constructions in Yaqui (Uto-Aztecan; Mexico).
Previous studies have described Yaqui internal and verbal possessive constructions. The
former makes use of juxtaposition, pronominal possession, and genitive phrases, and the
latter shows possessive verbs taking the possessor as nominative subject and the
possessee as accusative object. This study complements previous works with
observations based on corpus data, and introduces a new, complex construction in Yaqui
grammar: external possessive constructions. In external possession, the possessee can
be coded as an accusative or locative argument, whereas the possessor can be coded as
a nominative, accusative, dative or locative argument; dative and locative marking
correspond to oblique core arguments. Locative external possessors have been barely
documented outside European languages.