Research Articles

Quotative constructions in Kuikuro (Upper Xingu Carib)

Author
  • Bruna Franchetto orcid logo (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro)

Abstract

In Kuikuro, a variety of the Upper Xingu Karib Language, there are quotative constructions, for both direct and indirect quoted speech. After a synthesis of the Kuikuro morphosyntax, the second section describes and analyzes the main aspects of the direct quotative speech constructions, which are by far the most frequent in different speech genres. More specifically, the 'quotes framers' of direct quotative are analyzed, distinguishing two possibilities: the presence of a lexical 'framer' (verb ki-, 'to say'); a pure aspectual inflection suggesting the existence of a verb ‘to say’ not phonologically realized. The absence of a 'framer' is also quite frequent. The verb ki- also occurs in constructions of indirect quoted speech. Note that the recipient of the saying, to whom the said statement is directed, is marked by the ‘perspectival’ or ‘about’ postposition  heke. Direct and indirect quotatives are complex constructions. The third section of the article is an initial approach to indirect quotatives, with its variety of syntactic strategies and types of construction. The data that exemplify generalizations, as well as descriptive and analytical statements are taken from natural corpora, mainly narratives, and controlled elicitations.

Keywords: direct speech, indirect speech, Kuikuro, Upper Xingu Carib

How to Cite:

Franchetto, B., (2024) “Quotative constructions in Kuikuro (Upper Xingu Carib)”, Language Documentation and Description 23(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.25894/ldd.361

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Published on
16 Feb 2024
Peer Reviewed

1. Introduction

This article focuses on direct and indirect quotative constructions in Kuikuro, a variety of the Upper Xingu Carib Language (LKAX), one of the two southern branches of the Carib family (Meira and Franchetto 2005). It is a preliminary descriptive study of these constructions in a specific language, offering new data for comparison with other Carib languages and other unrelated languages, as well as suggesting directions for theoretical approaches to analysis of quoted speech constructions.

Kuikuro confirms the cross-linguistic generalization proposed by Spronck & Nikitina (2019: 120–126) that reported speech constructions involve a dedicated syntactic relation that differs from other sentential structures, reflecting a binary or bi-clausal relation that is neither coordination nor subordination. In Kuikuro indirect quotatives are infrequent in spontaneous speech or in narratives, but relevant data can be obtained easily through contextualized elicitation.

Following this introduction, the article is organized into three sections. Section 2 introduces the Kuikuro people and provides a synthesis of Kuikuro morphosyntax. Section 3 describes and analyzes the main aspects of the direct quoted speech constructions, which are by far the most frequent types of quotatives in the language regardless of discourse genre. More specifically, the ‘quote framers’ of direct quotatives are analyzed, revealing three distinct possibilities: the presence of a lexical ‘framer’ (the intransitive verb ki- ‘to say’); a purely aspectual inflection suggesting the existence of a null verb ‘to say’ that is not phonologically realized; and the absence of explicit framing.1 We will see that the identification of the addressee of the reported speech is expressed by a postpositional phrase headed by heke, a postposition which I gloss as ‘perspective’ and which is semantically understandable as a kind of ‘about’ (not to be confused with a formally similar postposition used as the marker of the ergative case of the external argument of a transitive verb). The absence of any kind of quote framer is also quite frequent. Section 4 deals with the complexity of indirect quotatives. The source of the analyzed subcorpus comes from the existing digital Kuikuro corpus which results from 40 years of documentation work conducted by the author and which contains narratives, among other performed discourse genres, and elicited data contextualized whenever possible (Matthewson 2004; Sanchez-Mendes 2014). The subcorpus of quotative constructions was checked and enriched by the author in the fieldwork undertaken in July 2019.

2. The Kuikuro people and language

Kuikuro, spoken by approximately 700 people, is one of the two main varieties of the Upper Xingu Carib Language (LKAX), one of the two Southern branches of the Carib family (Meira and Franchetto 2005). The Kuikuro live in six villages in the region known as ‘Upper Xingu’, at the headwaters of the Xingu river, in Brazilian Southern Amazonia. The ethnonym ‘Kuikuro’ has become established since the first written ethnographical record by Karl von den Steinen at the end of the 19th century (Steinen 1894), and it derives from the toponym of the place where, in the middle of the 18th century, the first village (Kuhi ikugu ‘Needle Fish Creek’) of a recognized autonomous group was established inside the multilingual and multiethnic Upper Xingu regional system. The other co-varieties of LKAX are spoken by the Kalapalo, Nahukua, and Matipu local groups of the Upper Xingu Carib sub-system. Together with Kuikuro, they should be considered still vital, albeit vulnerable, languages/varieties that are distinguished mainly by different prosodic structures (Silva and Franchetto 2011).

Kuikuro is a highly agglutinative and complement-head order language (Maia et al. 2019: 85–91). The basic word order is SV (Subject Intransitive verb) and OVS (Object Transitive verb Subject); any head, be it a verb, a noun, or a postposition, constitutes a prosodic unit with its internal argument (Silva and Franchetto, 2011). It is an ergative-absolutive language in which all intransitive verbs are unaccusative. The external cause (agent) of a transitive verb is marked by the postposition heke (Franchetto 2010), as shown in examples (2b) and (2c) below. Bare nominals are underdetermined for number and definiteness.2

Basic word order is SV when the verb is intransitive. Nominal and pronominal absolutive arguments are in complementary distribution, as exemplified in (1a) and (1b), as well as in (2a) and (2b).3

    1. (1a)
    1. kangamuke
    2. child
    1. ünkgü-tagü
    2. sleep-DUR
    1. gele
    2. still
    1. (The/a) child/children are still sleeping.
    1. (1b)
    1. isünkgütagü tüngá
    1.  
    1. is-ünkgü-tagü
    2. 3-sleep-DUR
    1. t-üngá
    2. REFL-house.INE2
    1. She is sleeping at home.
    1. (2a)
    1. kangamuke onitũdagü leha
    1.  
    1. kangamuke
    2. child
    1. oni-tuN-tagü
    2. dream-VBLZ-DUR
    1. leha
    2. COMPL
    1. (The/a) child/children is/are already dreaming.

Basic word order OVS when the verb is transitive:

    1. (2b)
    1. kangamuke gamakilü leha utologu heke
    1.  
    1. kangamuke
    2. child
    1. gamaki-lü
    2. knock-PNCT
    1. leha
    2. COMPL
    1. u-tolo-gu
    2. 1-pet-POSS
    1. heke
    2. ERG
    1. My pet knocked down the child.
    1. (2c)
    1. isamakilü leha eheke
    1.  
    1. i-gamaki-lü
    2. 3-knock-PNCT
    1. leha
    2. COMPL
    1. e-heke
    2. 2-ERG
    1. You knocked him/her down.

There is no overt agreement on the verb, and a unique set of person markers is prefixed as an internal (absolutive) argument to verbs, nouns, and postpositions (see Table 1).

Table 1

Kuikuro pronominal prefixes.

PREFIXED PRONOMINAL FORMS SEMANTIC FEATURES GLOSSES
u- [+ego, –tu, –pl] 1
e- (a-, o-) [–ego, +tu, –pl] 2
i-, is-, inh [–ego, –tu, –pl] 3
tis-, tisih-, tsih-, tinh- [+ego, –tu, +pl] 1.3
kuk-, ku-, k- [+ego, +tu, –pl] 1.2

Table 2 and Table 3 show the morphological structure of nominal and verbal words in Kuikuro, with positions for prefixes and suffixes before and after the root, which is a lexical morpheme not categorized for part of speech. Parenthesized morphemes are optional.

Table 2

The structure of the Kuikuro nominal word.

(ABS/PERS) Root NCAT (Aspect) (NMLZ) (POSS) (Number) (FUT/NTM) (COP)
Table 3

The structure of the Kuikuro verbal word.

(ABS/PERS) (DTR) Root VCAT VBLZ (TR) Mood Aspect (Number) (FUT) (COP)

Kuikuro verbs are inflected for mood and aspect, not for tense. Tense is inferred contextually from the interaction between aspects, adverbs, epistemics and deictics. The future verbal inflection (-ingo), which always appears after the verbal punctual aspect, could be considered as an expression of tense, but it expresses more than just a future eventuality, as far as it has also deontic modal values of possibility and commitment.4

Besides having rich phonologically conditioned allomorphy of bound morphemes (Franchetto 1995), five morphological classes set a complex allomorphy of many inflectional nominal and verbal suffixes (Santos 2007, 2008). Table 4 summarizes the verbal inflectional classes in which the Kuikuro verbs are distributed, for just the punctual and durative aspects, given the relevance of this phenomenon for the reported speech constructions in Kuikuro.

Table 14

The five morphological classes for punctual and durative aspect inflection in Kuikuro.

1 2 3 4 5
Punctual Ø -nügü -lü -jü -lü
Durative -tagü -tagü -tagü -tsagü -gagü
apüngu- ØapünguN-tagü‘to die’ ongi-nügüongiN-tagü‘to hide’ agi-lüagi-tagü‘to throw’ agugi-jüagugi-tsagü‘to split’ api-lüapi-gagü‘to hit’

The punctual aspect (PNCT) is a kind of default aspect. It expresses an eventuality conceived as instantaneous, without any inherent duration in time, “almost a thing”, as the Kuikuro say. Punctual aspect is interpreted as referring to a non-present eventuality. The durative aspect (DUR) expresses an eventuality conceived as inherently having a duration in time and is used to cover past and present eventualities. There is also a perfect aspect (PRF) that refers to an eventuality completed before the topic time (TopT).

The structure of the verbal word in Table 2 shows that mood is expressed by bound morphemes immediately after the stem.5 There is no declarative mood, or it is not phonologically realized. The overtly realized moods are imperative, hortative, imminent future, habitual and hypothetical.

3. Direct quoted speech and its framers

In my approach to quoted speech, I follow Spronck & Nikitina (2019: 120–126), whose main typological predictions, listed below, are relevant for Kuikuro:

  1. Reported speech involves a single type of syntactic relation, here called a framing relation.

  2. Reported speech constructions involve a binary, but neither subordinating nor coordinating, semantic structure (M:R) expressed through a bi-clausal morphosyntactic construction.

  3. The reported speech (“R”) may be a full clause, a subclause, or a multi-clausal structure.

  4. The matrix or the framer/framing part (“M”) identifies the reported speaker. M may be expressed as a morpheme, or may not be expressed at all.

The sentence in (3) exemplifies the (here sub-clausal) R and M components of a direct quoted speech construction in Kuikuro:

    1. (3)
    1. R
    2. ekü
    1. M
    2. Ongokugu kilü tühitsü heke
    1.  
    1. ekü
    2. INTJ
    1. Ongokugu
    2. Ongokugu
    1. kil-ü
    2. say-PNCT
    1. tü-hi-tsü
    2. REFL-wife-POSS
    1. heke
    2. PRSP
    1. “Hello!”, Ongokugu said to his own wife.

3.1 The verb ‘to say’

The intransitive verb ki- (‘to say’) can be used as the main verb of the framing part of the quotative construction.6 The sentence in (4) shows that the addresser ‘I’ is identified by the (unmarked) absolutive internal argument of this verb. I also call the reader’s attention to the morphosyntactic expression of the addressee ‘you all’ by the postpositional phrase headed by the perspectival marker heke.

    1. (4)
    1. üle atehe hüle egea ukita ehekeni
    1.  
    1. üle
    2. LOG
    1. atehe
    2. CAUS
    1. hüle
    2. CNTR
    1. ege-a
    2. DDIST-SIM
    1. u-ki-ta
    2. 1-say-DUR
    1. e-heke-ni
    2. 2-PRSP-PL
    1. Because of that I’m saying to you all

The element heke can mark an ‘about’ meaning, a perspective, and the external cause of a transitive eventuality. Heke is cognate to genetically related forms in other Carib languages. The proto-form can be reconstructed as *pôkô, an abstract notion approximately translatable as ‘about’ (Meira & Franchetto 2005).

In Franchetto (2010: 134–140), I proposed a continuum of its different contexts of occurrence and an extension of a specific notion of ‘perspective’ from the field of spatial relations to the quantification or individuation and actualization of a potential member within a set, and finally, to the external cause of a transitive verb. I gloss heke as PRSP (perspective/perspectival) when it is not the head of a DP external argument of a transitive verb (i.e., its subject), reserving the gloss ERG for this latter function. I illustrate the contrast between these two uses of heke in (5) and (6). In (5), the postpositional phrase tüngisão ingilü heke identifies the specific condition of the intransitive verb anügü, while in (6) iheke is the pronominal external cause (the agent) of the transitive verb ingilü.

    1. (5)
    1. tüngisão ingilü heke anügü (Franchetto 2010: 136, ex. (44))
    1.  
    1. i-ngisão
    2. REFL-grandparents
    1. ingi-lü
    2. see-PNCT
    1. heke
    2. PRSP
    1. ai-nügü
    2. 3.stay-PNCT
    1. He went to see his own grandparents.
    2. (lit. he stayed concerning with the seeing of his own grandparents/from the perspective of the seeing of his own grandparents)
    1. (6)
    1. tüngisão ingilü iheke
    1.  
    1. i-ngisão
    2. REFL-grandparents
    1. ingi-lü
    2. see-PNCT
    1. i-heke
    2. 3-ERG
    1. He saw his own grandparents.

Perspectival heke is also used with the intransitive verb ki- ‘to say’ in contexts where it is not a reported speech framer, as shown in (7) and (8).

    1. (7)
    1. egehungu heke tsüngapaha ekitagü egei
    1.  
    1. ege-hungu
    2. D.DIST-SIM1
    1. heke
    2. PRSP
    1. tsü=ngapa=ha
    2. CR2=EM=TOP
    1. e-ki-tagü
    2. 2-say-DUR
    1. ege-i
    2. D.DIST-COP
    1. Maybe that is what you intend to say.
    1. (8)
    1. itseke kukilüha ngiko heke kukengeni heke
    1.  
    1. itseke
    2. itseke
    1. ku-ki-lü=ha
    2. 1.2-say-PNCT=TOP
    1. ngiko
    2. thing
    1. heke
    2. ERG
    1. kuk-enge-ni
    2. 1.2-eat-ANMLZ
    1. heke
    2. PRSP
    1. We say itseke (for) something which devours/terrifies us.

In Kuikuro, as well as in many Amerindian languages, direct quoted speech is by far more frequent than indirect quoted speech, not just in narratives, but also in other kinds of genres, and even in ordinary speech. In narrative texts, direct quoted speech accounts for between 20 and 40 percent of the whole text.7 Direct quotes contain verbs inflected by performative moods, interjections, ideophones and an abundance of epistemic markers. These modulate and vivify the atitudes and communicative intentions of the interacting characters, as well as expressing their inner thoughts.

Like other framers, ki- follows the quoted speech, as exemplified by (9) and (10):8

    1. (9)
    1. túhagu inkgete anha kitagü üngahingo kitagü
    1.  
    1. túhagu
    2. sieve
    1. iN-kete
    2. bring-IMP.CTP
    1. anha
    2. dead
    1. ki-tagü
    2. say-DUR
    1. üngahi-ngo
    2. circle.houses-NMLZ
    1. ki-tagü
    2. say-DUR
    1. “Bring túhagu (sieve)!”, the dead is/was saying, the one of the other house is/was saying.8
    1. (10)
    1. eitaginhukopeha opokinetüe Makaigi kagaiha-gü kilüha ngikogo heke
    1.  
    1. e-itaginhu-ko-pe=ha
    2. 2-speech-PL1-NTM=TOP
    1. opokine-tüe
    2. leave-IMP.PL
    1. Makaigi
    2. Bakairi
    1. kagaiha-gü
    2. white.people-POSS
    1. ki-lü=ha
    2. say-PNCT=TOP
    1. ngikogo
    2. Indian
    1. heke
    2. PRSP
    1. “Leave your language!”, the white people of Bakairi said to the Indians.

Observe in (10) that the addressee ngikogo ‘Indian’ follows the verb ki, inflected with the punctual aspect, and is expressed by the postpositional phrase headed by the ‘perspectival’ heke as described above.

Reported speech contructions framed with the verb ki are not limited to the narrative genre, but are also found in another genre of Kuikuro verbal-musical art. Among the Kuikuro, tolo is a feast or ritual where dances and songs are executed exclusively by women, and that form a ritual and musical complex. It contrasts with the kagutu flutes, a complementary masculine domain that is prohibited to women. Tolo means ‘bird’ as tolo songs are made to fly. The word also means ‘pet’, as the possessed form of tolo refers also to one’s lover.9

Many tolo songs show quotatives recursive structures. This is characteristic of a large part of Amerindian poetical echolalia, where speeches of others (humans, dead persons, dead enemies) are made present by the voice of a singer or a shaman. In many tolo songs, the expression uhisü kilü uheke ‘my younger brother said to me’ is the quotative framer of embedded quotes. The example in (11) is the transcription and translation of the song auga imitoho ‘for the tuvira fish to wake up at dawn’. The terms hisü ‘younger brother’ and tühüninhü ‘the one who is missing’ are paradigmatically used in framing expressions as poetic parallelistic play.

    1. (11)
    1. kigefa uake keteha uake
    2. kigeha uake uhisü kilü uheke
    1. go with me, come with me
    2. go with me, my sweet love told to me
    1. tühüninhü kilü uheke
    2. uhisü kilü(ni) uheke
    1. the precious told me
    2. my sweet love told me
    1.  
    1. keteha uake kigeha uake
    2. keteha uake
    1. come with me, go with me
    2. come with me
    1. uhisü heke ukilü
    2. tühüninhü heke ukilü
    1. I told to my sweet love
    2. I told to the precious man
    1. uhisü kilü(ni) uheke
    2. ukilü egei
    1. my sweet love told me
    2. I said
    1.  
    1. keteha uake
    2. kigeha uake
    1. come with me
    2. go with me
    1. keteha uake kigeha
    2. uhisü kilü uheke
    1. come with me, come
    2. I told to my sweet love
    1. tühüninhü kilü uheke
    2. ukilü egei
    1. I told to the precious
    2. I said

The lovers will go toward each other, since the place of the encounter was previously agreed. These images are frozen in quotative recursive structures, embedded, in turn, in parallelisms with minor variations (substitution, inversion). There is, in each tolo, a repeated core of meanings that often ends up with the mark of a reported speech: uhisü kilü uheke ‘my sweet love told to me’; tühüninhü kilü uheke ‘the one who is missing told to me’; tühüninhü heke ukilü ‘I told to the one who is missing’; ukilü ‘I said’. The woman singing performs a speech/song that was made to fly (tolotelü) in the past by another woman or a man addressing her or his lover.

3.2 The silent verb as framer

In narratives, particularly interesting is the frequent use of the forms ta(gü) and nü(gü) as quote framers (12), either immediately after the reported speech, even when it is an inner thought (13), or inside it after a constituent, in most cases, a vocative or an interjection (14).10 Ta(gü) and nü(gü) are the durative and the punctual aspectual inflectional morphemes of Class 2, the major morphological class of Kuikuro verbs. The addresse is always a 3rd person pronominal form prefixed to the perspectival postposition heke. My analysis is that we are facing a transitive verb ‘to say’ that is not phonologically realized, although their inflectional class markers do at least partially appear. The short form of these aspectual morphemes -ta and - followed by the 3rd person addressee marked by the perspectival heke are frequently reduced to a single phonological unit, tajheke, nüjheke, spoken in a voice so low as to be almost inaudible.

    1. (12)
    1. túhagu inkgkete tajheke
    1.  
    1. túhagu
    2. sieve
    1. iN-kete
    2. bring-IMP.CTP
    1. Ø-ta(gü)
    2. SAY-DUR
    1. i-heke
    2. 3-PRSP
    1. “Bring túhagu!”, (she) was saying to her.
    1. (13)
    1. tübeki ekisei jheke
    1.  
    1. tü=beki
    2. Q=EM
    1. ekise-i
    2. 3.DIST-COP
    1. Ø-nü(gü)
    2. SAY-PNCT
    1. i-heke
    2. 3-PRSP
    1. “Who can be that person?”, she said to her(self).
    1. (14)
    1. üle hata ah jheke ukugesube
    1.  
    1. üle
    2. LOG
    1. hata
    2. TEMP3
    1. ah
    2. ITJ
    1. Ø-nü(gü)
    2. SAY-PNCT
    1. i-heke
    2. 3-PRSP
    1. ukuge=sube
    2. people=EM
    1. Meanwhile: “Ah!”, (she) said to him/her, “is it people?”

Note that if both the addresser and addressee are explicit, both are marked by heke, as in (15), an example of direct quoted speech in everyday colloquial interaction: the ‘perspectival’ heke marks the addressee, while the ergative heke marks the addresser.

    1. (15)
    1. inhalü ügü ihipütelüi eheke tajheke uheke
    1.  
    1. inhalü
    2. NEG1
    1. ügü
    2. fish.hook
    1. ihipüte-lü-i
    2. buy-PNCT-COP
    1. e-heke
    2. 2-ERG
    1. Ø-ta(gü)
    2. say-DUR
    1. i-heke
    2. 3-ERG
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-PRSP
    1. “You didn’t buy fish hooks”, he was saying to me.

Example (16) shows co-occurence of frames in a parallelistic repetition which allows the identification of the addresser.

    1. (16)
    1. ahütü kutale uheke ahati hüngüngü tingũdila jheke Ihũbe kilü
    1.  
    1. ahütü
    2. NEG2
    1. kutale
    2. EM
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-ERG
    1. a-hati
    2. 2-niece
    1. hüngüngü
    2. lack.of
    1. t-inguN-ti-la
    2. ANA-endure-PTCP-PRIV
    1. Ø-nü(gü)
    2. say-PNCT
    1. i-heke
    2. 3-PRSP
    1. Ihũbe
    2. Ihumbe
    1. ki-lü
    2. say-PNCT
    1. “I can not stand the lack of your niece”, (he said) to her/him, Ihũbe said.

The co-occurence of frames is also found in ordinary speech, as in (17), where the direct quotation is enclosed between a pre-framer and a reduced post-framer.

    1. (17)
    1. ekise kilü uheke uinegetũdagü ahijaũ ata utelü heke jheke uheke
    1.  
    1. ekise
    2. 3DIST
    1. ki-lü
    2. say-PNCT
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-PRSP
    1. u-inegetuN-tagü
    2. 1-be.afraid-DUR
    1. ahijaũ
    2. plane
    1. ata
    2. LOC
    1. u-te-lü
    2. 1-go-PNCT
    1. heke
    2. ERG
    1. Ø-nügü
    2. say-PNCT
    1. i-heke
    2. 3-ERG
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-PRSP
    1. He told me: “I’m afraid to go by plane”, he said to me.

In example (18) we see that the quote framers ta(gü) and nü(gü) can be completely elided, leaving only the addressee (marked by heke) explicit.

    1. (18)
    1. haki atsange tahaĩke ilá eteke tühitsü heke
    1.  
    1. haki
    2. far
    1. atsange
    2. EMPH2
    1. at-ahaĩ-ke
    2. 2.DTR-move.away-IMP
    1. ila
    2. there
    1. e-te-ke
    2. 2-go-IMP
    1. tü-hi-tsü
    2. REFL-wife-POSS
    1. heke
    2. PRSP
    1. “Move away, go there!”, (he said) to his own wife.

Looking at the Kuikuro facts exemplified in this section, the possibility of a non phonologically realized ‘say’ verb is corroborated by a phonologically realized aspectual inflection (-nügü, -tagü). Kuikuro is a case of the phenomenon that Spronck & Nikitina (2019: 126–129) call “defenestration”: in many languages the realization of M, the framing clause of a directly reported speech construction, is often reduced or even absent, as an optional element. Cross-linguistically, meanings associated with M do not always receive structural expression, and ‘framing’ clauses that are M-less clauses are ‘defenestrated’. Examples (12) to (18) show increasing degrees of defenestration, that is, of M-less clauses. The ‘defenestration’ phenomenon in Kuikuro reaches its maximum manifestation when direct reported speech occurs without any frame, as we will see in Section 3.3.

3.3 When direct reported speech occurs without any frame

As mentioned, Kuikuro exhibits the phenomenon that Spronck & Nikitina (2019: 126–129) call defenestration: the framing clause or less-than-a-clause of a directly reported speech construction can be completely absent. According to Spronck & Nikitina, the absence of an explicit framer does not present a semantic lacuna, since it can always be recovered thanks to the use of interjections, ideophones, epistemics, kinship terms, vocatives, among other clues. During the execution of a narrative, the brief questions posed by the itüinhi—the story-teller’s formal interlocutor or ‘what-sayer’—can provide this function of recoverability, when it is beyond the storyteller’s itüinhi immediate understanding of who is talking to whom.

The absence of any quoted speech frame (M) is by far the most frequent case in Kuikuro narratives. Expressive prosody, the context, and, above all, the prior and shared knowledge of the narrative, knowledge from which the non-native researcher is excluded, provide the clues for the recovery of addresser and addressee referents. The mastery of unframed quoted speech is a salient characteristic of the performance of an experienced story-teller, introducing dramatic movements and passages that distinguish between scenes and characters.

Example (19) presents one of the blocks in parallel sequence from the narrative itaõ kuẽgü etĩkipügü ‘the transformation of hyper-women’. It illustrates the way inner thoughts are realized as direct quotatives. In this case, the narrator is hidden in the forest during a fishing trip, and is watching the transformation of men into hyper-peccaris.11

    1. (19)
    1. mmm igia agage sokuniküle itsagü ekisei
    1.  
    1. mmm
    2. ITJ
    1. igia
    2. like.this
    1. agage
    2. SIM3
    1. sokuniküle
    2. INT.EM
    1. i-tsagü
    2. 3.be-DUR
    1. ekise-i
    2. 3.DIST-COP
    1. “Hum, it is like this they are becoming?”
    1.  
    1. apajuko
    2. apaju-ko
    3. father-PL
    4. “Are they the fathers?”
    1.  
    1. igia sokukinhi itsagüko igei
    1.  
    1. igia
    2. like.this
    1. sokukinhi
    2. INT.EM
    1. i-tsagü-ko
    2. 3.be-DUR-PL
    1. ige-i
    2. DPROX-COP
    1. “It’s like this, I saw them, it seems to be true, it is like this that they are becoming here.”
    1.  
    1. igehungu sokukinhi tinghangamitagüi
    1.  
    1. ige-hungu
    2. DPROX-SIM1
    1. sokukinhi
    2. INT.EM
    1. ti-ng-hangami-tagü-i
    2. 1.3-O-wait-DUR-COP
    1. “They are beings like this, I saw them, it seems to be true, those we are awaiting.”
    1.  
    1. amanhuko akeni
    1.  
    1. amanhu-ko
    2. mother-PL
    1. ake-ni
    2. COM-PL2
    1. “With our mothers?”

From the same narrative, the same scene depicted in the above example is repeated, but now as the unframed direct quoted speech of the same character who reports what he just saw in the forest to his mother in the village.

    1. (20)
    1. ama igehungu makina kunghangamitagükoi apajukoi
    1.  
    1. ama
    2. mother
    1. ige-hungu
    2. DPROX-SIM1
    1. makina
    2. EM
    1. ku-ng-hangami-tagü-ko-i
    2. 1.2-O-wait-DUR-PL-COP
    1. apaju-ko-i
    2. father-PL-COP
    1. mother, believe me, they are beings like this that we are waiting, they are the fathers
    1.  
    1. igehungu uengehotagü solaka ihekeni
    1.  
    1. ige-hungu
    2. DPROX-SIM1
    1. u-enge-ho-tagü
    2. 1-eat-HYP-DUR
    1. solaka
    2. EM
    1. i-heke-ni
    2. 3-ERG-PL2
    1. even so they wanted to feed me
    1.  
    1. uengehotagü leha ihekeni leha
    1.  
    1. u-enge-ho-tagü
    2. 1-eat-HYP-DUR
    1. leha
    2. COMPL
    1. i-heke-ni
    2. 3-ERG-PL2
    1. leha
    2. COMPL
    1. they wanted to feed me
    1.  
    1. apadjuko heke
    1.  
    1. apadju-ko
    2. father-PL
    1. heke
    2. ERG
    1. fathers
    1.  
    1. ilá sotümakigei apadjuko itsagü igei
    1.  
    1. ilá
    2. there
    1. sotümaki=ige-i
    2. EM=DPROX-COP
    1. apadju-ko
    2. father-PL
    1. i-tsagü
    2. be-DUR
    1. ige-i
    2. DPROX-COP
    1. there, it is true, believe me, fathers are transforming themselves, now
    1.  
    1. isigüko ihatigagü
    1.  
    1. is-i-gü-ko
    2. 3-tooth-POSS-PL
    1. ihati-gagü
    2. exit-DUR
    1. it was their teeth sticking out
    1.  
    1. ipuguko leha isaeni leha
    1.  
    1. ipu-gu-ko
    2. 3.hair-POSS-PL
    1. leha
    2. COMPL
    1. i-gae-ni
    2. 3-on-PL2
    1. leha
    2. COMPL
    1. their hair on them
    1.  
    1. itsuponi leha ipuguko leha
    1.  
    1. i-tupo-ni
    2. 3-on.back-PL
    1. leha
    2. COMPL
    1. ipu-gu-ko
    2. 3.hair-POSS-PL
    1. leha
    2. COMPL
    1. on their back, their hair

4. Direct and indirect quoted speech

Despite the undeniable predominance of direct quotations in Kuikuro discourse, it is possible to find indirect quotative constructions in recordings of everyday interactions as well as in controlled elicitations. In this section I present a brief description of the indirect speech constructions found in my corpus, focusing on some of their syntactic and semantic aspects. It must be said that the picture of the constructions used for what I identify as indirect speech quoted in Kuikuro is still unclear and needs further investigation.

4.1 Indirect quoted speech: The pronominal strategy

The pronominal strategy is the main clue for the recovering of conjoint or disjoint reference between the subjects of a main clause and a dependent clause. However, this is true only when a 3rd person is involved. If a non-3rd person is the pronominal absolutive argument, its prefixed phonological exponent is always obligatorily present in the dependent verb, as shown in (21), where the dependent clause is an adverbial headed by the morpheme -tomi.

    1. (21)
    1. osi ama kilü leha uheke utetomi uitangũdomi
    1.  
    1. osi
    2. yes
    1. ama
    2. mother
    1. ki-lü
    2. say-PNCT
    1. leha
    2. COMPL
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-PRSP
    1. u-te-tomi
    2. 1-go-FIN
    1. u-itanguN-tomi
    2. 1-play-FIN
    1. Ok, my mother said to me that I could go to play.

The situation is different with 3rd person clauses. Having no subordinative conjunction, Kuikuro mobilizes what could be called a pronominal strategy in indirect quotatives, as well as in other complex constructions, to encode coincident (SS, same subject) or distinct (DS, different subject) cross-reference relations between the arguments of the matrix clause and a 3rd person in the dependent clause. Compare the paired direct (a) vs. indirect (b) quotes in each of the following examples.

Direct quote:

    1. (22a)
    1. umukugu kilü uheke konige Canaranana utelüti uitsagü
    1.  
    1. u-muku-gu
    2. 1-son-POSS
    1. ki-lü
    2. say-PNCT
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-PRSP
    1. konige
    2. yesterday
    1. Canarana-na
    2. Canarana-ALL
    1. u-te-lü-ti
    2. 1-go-PNCT-DES
    1. u-i-tsagü
    2. 1-be-DUR
    1. My son said to me yesterday: “I want to go to Canarana”.

Indirect quote SS:

    1. (22b)
    1. umukugu kilü konige uheke tütelüti itsagü Canaranana
    1.  
    1. u-muku-gu
    2. 1-son-POSSi
    1. ki-lü
    2. say-PNCT
    1. konige
    2. yesterday
    1. uheke
    2. 1-PRSP
    1. tü-te-lü-ti
    2. REFLi-go-PNCT-DES
    1. i-tsagü
    2. 3.be-DUR
    1. Canarana-na
    2. Canarana-ALL
    1. My soni said yesterday to me that hei wants to go to Canarana.

Direct quote:

    1. (23a)
    1. umukugu kilü uheke konige Canaranana etelüti itsagü
    1.  
    1. u-muku-gu
    2. 1-son-POSSi
    1. ki-lü
    2. say-PNCT
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-PRSP
    1. konige
    2. yesterday
    1. Canarana-na
    2. Canarana-ALL
    1. e-te-lü-ti
    2. 3k-go-PNCT-DES
    1. i-tsagü
    2. 3.be-DUR
    1. My soni said to me yesterday: “Hek wants to go to Canarana”.

Indirect quote DS:

    1. (23b)
    1. umukugu kilü konige uheke etelüti itsagü Canaranana
    1.  
    1. u-muku-gu
    2. 1-son-POSSi
    1. ki-lü
    2. say-PNCT
    1. konige
    2. yesterday
    1. uheke
    2. 1-PRSP
    1. e-te-lü-ti
    2. 3-go-PNCT-DESi
    1. i-tsagü
    2. 3k.be-DUR
    1. Canarana-na
    2. Canarana-ALL
    1. My soni said yesterday to me that hek wants to go to Canarana.

In these examples the SS (same subject) pronominal form in the dependent verb indicates whether we are hearing a direct or an indirect quotation. The sentence (22b) is a clear example of SS cross-reference, where the reflexive 3rd person morpheme t-/- indicates that the subject of the dependent verb (-telü) is coreferent with the subject of the matrix clause. However, when we face a DS (different subject or disjoint reference) construction, as in (23b), there is no difference between direct and indirect quotative constructions, leading to an ambiguous interpretation. This problem doesn’t arise when the disjoint reference is between a non-3rd person subject of the main clause and the subject of the embedded clause, as in (24b).

Direct quote:

    1. (24a)
    1. uonitu umukugu kingalü uheke utehesuingo tsügü Canaranana
    1.  
    1. u-onituN-Ø
    2. 1i-dream-PNCT
    1. u-muku-gu
    2. 1-son-POSSk
    1. ki-nga-lü
    2. say-HAB-PNCT
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-PRSP
    1. u-tehesu-ingo
    2. 3k-travel-FUT
    1. tsügü
    2. UNCR
    1. Canarana-na
    2. Canarana-ALL
    1. I dreamed that my son repeatedly told me: “I will travel to Canarana”.

Indirect quote:

    1. (24b)
    1. uonitu umukugu kingalü uheke itsehesuingo tsügü Canaranana
    1.  
    1. u-onituN-Ø
    2. 1i-dream-PNCT
    1. u-muku-gu
    2. 1-son-POSSk
    1. ki-nga-lü
    2. say-HAB-PNCT
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-PRSP
    1. i-tehesu-ingo
    2. 3k-travel-FUT
    1. tsügü
    2. UNCR
    1. Canarana-na
    2. Canarana-ALL
    1. I dreamed that my son repeatedly told me that he would travel to Canarana

In (25a) and (25b), the pronominal strategy is at work not only in the contrast between the 1st person and the 3rd person ergative arguments of the verb in the quoted sentence, but also through another deictic: the person markers of a possessed nominal in the direct and indirect quotatives. Here, the distinction between the dual inclusive (kuk-) and the 1st plural exclusive (tis-) is at stake. Moreover, different emphatic morphemes, atsange and akatsange, are used. Finally, there is a difference between the simple ego-centered proximal locative adverb ãde in the indirect quotative (25b) and the double ego-centered proximal locative adverbs ãde and ĩde in the direct quotative (25a).

Direct quote:

    1. (25a)
    1. itaõ kilü uheke ãde atsange ĩde kukengikogu ongitepügü uheke
    1.  
    1. itaõ
    2. woman
    1. ki-lü
    2. say-PNCT
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-ERG
    1. ãde
    2. here
    1. atsange
    2. EMPH2
    1. ĩde
    2. here
    1. kuk-engiko-gu
    2. 1.2-thing-POSS
    1. ongite-pügü
    2. hide-PERF
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-ERG
    1. The woman said to me: “I hid our belongings here”.

Indirect quote:

    1. (25b)
    1. itaõ kilü uheke ãde akatsange tisengikogu ongitepügü iheke
    1.  
    1. itaõ
    2. woman
    1. ki-lü
    2. say-PNCT
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-ERG
    1. ãde
    2. here
    1. akatsange
    2. EMPH3
    1. tis-engiko-gu
    2. 1.3-thing-POSS
    1. ongite-pügü
    2. hide-PERF
    1. i-heke
    2. 3-ERG
    1. The woman said to me that she hid our belongings here.

4.2 Indirect quoted speech: Perspectival ‘about’ again

We saw in Section 2.1, the use of the perspectival or ‘about’ hekeP for the identification of the addressee in the framing part of a direct quote construction. This postpositional phrase is once more in use when the indirect quoted speech contain a transitive verb. Compare the direct (a) and indirect speech (b) forms of the sentences below: in the indirect quote constructions, kanga engelü heke iheke in (26b) and eingilü heke iheke in (27b) are the ‘about’ postpositional phrases that specify the content of the quotation.12

Direct quote:

    1. (26a)
    1. Leijalu kilüha egei kanga engelü uheke
    1.  
    1. Leijalu
    2. Leijalu
    1. ki-lü=ha
    2. say-PNCT=TOP
    1. ege-i
    2. DDIST-COP
    1. kanga
    2. fish
    1. enge-lü
    2. eat-PNCT
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-ERG
    1. It was Leijalu who said: “I ate fish”.

Indirect quote:

    1. (26b)
    1. Leijalu kilüha egei kanga engelü heke iheke
    1.  
    1. Leijalui
    2. Leijalu
    1. ki-lü=ha
    2. say-PNCT=TOP
    1. ege-i
    2. DDIST-COP
    1. kanga
    2. fish
    1. enge-lü
    2. eat-PNCT
    1. heke
    2. PRSP
    1. ii/k-heke
    2. 3-ERG
    1. It was Leijalu who said that she ate fish (Leijalu or other).
    2. (lit.: It was Leijalu who said about her eating of fish.)

Direct quote:

    1. (27a)
    1. Bruna kilüha egei eingilü uheke
    1.  
    1. Bruna
    2. Bruna
    1. ki-lü=ha
    2. say-PNCT=TOP
    1. ege-i
    2. DDIST-COP
    1. e-ingi-lü
    2. 2-see-PNCT
    1. u-heke
    2. 1-ERG
    1. It was Bruna who said: “I saw you”.

Indirect quote:

    1. (27b)
    1. Bruna kilüha egei eingilü heke iheke
    1.  
    1. Brunai
    2. Bruna
    1. ki-lü=ha
    2. say-PNCT=TOP
    1. ege-i
    2. DDIST-COP
    1. e-ingi-lü
    2. 2-see-PNCT
    1. heke
    2. PRSP
    1. ii/k-heke
    2. 3-ERG
    1. It was Bruna who said (that) she (Bruna or other) saw you.
    2. (lit.: It was Bruna who said about her seeing you.)

4.3 More on indirect quotatives

Sometimes indirect quoted speech is introduced by the verb -ki (‘to say’). However the data currently available show that another verbum dicendiiha- (‘to point at, to show’)—is preferred when the reported speech act is indirect. Compare the direct quotation in (28a) with the indirect quotation in (28b):

    1. (28a)
    1. Leijalu kilü egei konige utelüingo eüngati kogetsi
    1.  
    1. Leijalu
    2. Leijalu
    1. ki-lü
    2. say-PNCT
    1. ege-i
    2. DDIST-COP
    1. konige
    2. yesterday
    1. u-te-lü-ingo
    2. 1-go-PNCT-FUT
    1. e-üngati
    2. 2-house.ALL
    1. kogetsi
    2. tomorrow
    1. It was Leijalu who said yesterday: “I’ll go to your house tomorrow”.
    1. (28b)
    1. konigeha egei Leijalu heke tütelü ihanügü
    1.  
    1. konige=ha
    2. yesterday=TOP
    1. ege-i
    2. DDIST-COP
    1. Leijalu
    2. Leijalui
    1. heke
    2. ERG
    1. tü-te-lü
    2. REFLi-ir-PNCT
    1. iha-nügü
    2. show-PNCT
    1. e-üngati
    2. 2-house.all
    1. kogetsi
    2. tomorrow
    1. It was yesterday that Leijalu said that she (Leijalu) will go tomorrow to your house.
    2. (lit.: her own going to your house…)

The above sentences are bi-clausal focus constructions. They again show the pronominal strategy at work for distinguishing SS from DS, with the reflexive prefix on the dependent verb marking SS, as also exemplified in (29a).

    1. (29a)
    1. SS
    2. tinegetũdatühügü ihata(gü)ha egei iheke ahijaũ ata
    1.  
    1. t-inegetũ-ta-tühügü
    2. REFLi-be.afraid-DUR-PERF
    1. iha-ta(gü)=ha
    2. show-DUR=TOP
    1. ege-i
    2. DDIST-COP
    1. i-heke
    2. 3i-ERG
    1. ahijaũ
    2. plane
    1. ata
    2. INE2
    1. Hei was telling that hei is afraid (to go) in a plane.
    1. (29b)
    1. DS
    2. inegetũdatühügü ihata(gü)ha egei iheke ahijaũ ata
    1.  
    1. inegetũ-ta-tühügü
    2. 3i.be.afraid-DUR-PERF
    1. ihata(gü)=ha
    2. show-DUR=TOP
    1. ege-i
    2. DDIST-COP
    1. i-heke
    2. 3j-ERG
    1. ahijaũ
    2. plane
    1. ata
    2. INE2
    1. Hei was telling that hej is afraid (to go) in a plane.

The verb iha- is the only possible option in complex constructions like (30), where a full sentence is the internal argument of iha-, and in recursive constructions like (31).

    1. (30)
    1. [[haindene heke eke api-lü]ihanügü iheke]
    1.  
    1. haindene
    2. old
    1. heke
    2. ERG
    1. eke
    2. snake
    1. api-lü
    2. beat-PNCT
    1. iha-nügü
    2. show-PNCT
    1. i-heke
    2. 3-ERG
    1. He said that the old man killed the snake.
    1. (31)
    1. [[[ekise itaõ heke tuahi hanügü uh-nügü] ihanügü umukugu heke] ihanügü kagaiha heke]
    1.  
    1. ekise
    2. 3.DIST
    1. itaõ
    2. woman
    1. heke
    2. ERG
    1. tuahi
    2. mat
    1. ha-nügü
    2. make-PNCT
    1. uhu-nügü
    2. know-PNCT
    1. iha-nügü
    2. show-PNCT
    1. u-muku-gu
    2. 1-son-POSS
    1. heke
    2. ERG
    1. iha-nügü
    2. show-PNCT
    1. kagaiha
    2. white
    1. heke
    2. ERG
    1. The White said my son said that woman knows how to make a mat.

The verb iha- is also the only possible option in interrogative constructions, as in the examples below, from (32) to (34).

    1. (32)
    1. tü eke apinii inhihanümi
    1.  
    1. Q
    1. eke
    2. snake
    1. apini-i
    2. beat-ANMLZ-COP
    1. i-ng-iha-nümi
    2. 3-O-show-PNCT.COP
    1. Who did he say killed the snake?
    2. (lit.: who was the killer of the snake he told about?)
    1. (33)
    1. tünile egei Ekege ngihanümi ungengepügüi
    1.  
    1. tü=nile
    2. Q=EM
    1. ege-i
    2. DDIST-COP
    1. Ekege
    2. Ekege
    1. ng-iha-nümi
    2. O-say-PNCT.COP
    1. u-ng-enge-pügü-i
    2. 1-O-eat-PERF-COP
    1. What did Ekege say I ate?
    1. (34)
    1. tünile egei Ekege ngihanümi tüngengepügüi
    1.  
    1. tü=nile
    2. Q=EM
    1. ege-i
    2. DDIST-COP
    1. Ekege
    2. Ekegei
    1. ng-iha-nümi
    2. O-show-PNCT.COP
    1. -ng-enge-pügü-i
    2. REFLi-O-eat-PRF-COP
    1. What did Ekege say he (Ekege) ate?

(32), (33), and (34) are examples of interrogatives where the questioned argument is the object of a transitive verb like iha (‘to point at/say’): the object marker ng- prefixed to the verb is coindexed with the question particle , always in sentence-initial position, and the inflectional suffix -nümi is, in fact, the exponent of a fusion of the Punctual aspect short form (--) and non-verbal copula -i.

5. Concluding remarks

Data from different types of Kuikuro discourse, from traditional narratives to everyday speech and controlled elicitations, corroborate the main typological predictions on reported speech forms stated by Spronck & Nikitina (2019). Direct quotatives are used much more than indirect quotatives, in any genre of discourse, from the most colloquial to the most formal, as in the verbal arts represented by narratives and even in chanted speeches and songs. The art of the story-teller depends on an ability to maintain the narrative path (enga ‘base’) coming and going across its deviations (ikungu ‘arm’), weaving the movement marked by dialogue between the different characters. A direct quote can include more than one sentence, with expressive interjections, epistemics, spatial and temporal deictics, and ideophones.

There are three ways of framing direct quotes: (1) use of the intransitive verb ki- ‘to say’, a lexical framer, with its aspectual inflection, after the quote; (2) pure aspectual inflection, which leads me to postulate a null say-verb, also after the quote; or (3) no framer at all. The use of explicit framers is not compulsory and their simple omission is quite frequent. Quotative constructions framed with a reduced lexical form or even absence of any explicit framing part are highly frequent in all genres of Kuikuro speech, a phenomenon noted in Spronck & Nikitina’s (2019) typological survey and called by the authors ‘defenestrated’ syntactic structures.

The Kuikuro language can be typologically characterized as an ergative-unaccusative language. The agent or, better, the external cause of a transitive verb, is marked by the postposition heke. This postposition has a non-trivial semantics that departs from the ordinary conception of agentivity (Franchetto 2010). The behavior of the say-verb ki- is also notable. It is an intransitive verb that seems to take the ‘sayer’ as its unmarked absolutive internal argument. However, when the addressee is explicit, it is marked by the perspectival heke, the ‘about’ of the addresser’s saying.

Indirect quotatives are less frequently used than direct ones, but even so they are found in everyday speech and are easily documented in controlled and contextualized elicitation. Kuikuro indirect quoted speech constructions deserve much more investigation and new data. Especially for indirect quotatives, some questions for future research are (i) the importance of the so-called pronominal strategy for establishing coreferences between the subject of the main clause and the subject of the subordinate clause; (ii) the possible relevance of the distinction between transitivity and intransitivity, with their argumental structure; (iii) the motivations and contexts for use of the perspectival postpostional phrase hekeP and the shift from the say-verb ki- to another verbum dicendi: iha- ‘to show, to point at’ in indirect speech constructions.

Notes

  1. For a definition of the term ‘framer’ (and ‘framing’), as used in this article, see the introduction to Section 3. [^]
  2. For more on Kuikuro morphosyntax, see especially Franchetto (2006, 2010, 2015); Franchetto & Santos (2010, 2014, 2017, 2018); Franchetto & Thomas (2016); Maia et al. (2019) and Santos (2007, 2008). [^]
  3. Abbreviations: 1 1st person; 2 2nd person; 3 3rd person; 1.2 1st person dual inclusive; 1.3 1st person plural exclusive; 3DIST 3rd person distal; ABS/PERS absolutive (internal argument) pronominal prefixes; ALL allative; ANA anaphoric; ANMLZ agent nominalizer; AQU.INE inessive (liquid substance); COM comitative; COMPL completive (aspectual particle); COP copula; DDIST distal deictic; DPROX proximate deictic; DTR detransitivizer; DUR durative; EM epistemic; EMPH emphatic; ERG ergative heke; FUT future; INE2 inessive (inside a container); INT interrogative; ITJ interjection; LOG logophoric; NANMLZ non-agent nominalizer; NCAT low nominal categorizer; NEG1 negation inhalü; NEG2 negation ahütü; NMLZ nominalizer; NTM nominal tense marker; O object; PL plural; PL2 plural -ni; PNCT punctual (aspect); POSS possessive; PRF perfect; PRIV privative; PRSP perspective heke; PTCP participle; Q question word; REFL reflexive 3rd person; TOP topic; VBLZ verbalizer; VCAT low verbal categorizer. The examples in this article are presented with the following structure: the first and second lines are in orthographic transcription; second and third lines show the morphological segmentation of each word and the interlinear glossing, respectively; the fourth line contains a translation that attempts to maintain fidelity to the original while taking some degree of liberty in the interest of providing a better understanding for the reader. Kuikuro (alphabetic) writing was developed by Indigenous teachers, in collaboration with the author, in the 1990s. The correspondences between ‘letters’ or groups of letters (including digraphs and trigraphs) and symbols from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), when different, are as follows: ü (ɨ), j (ʝ), g (uvular flap), ng (ŋ), nh (ɲ), nkg (ŋɡ); N represents an underspecified fluctuating nasal. [^]
  4. The suffix -ingo (FUT) can also be used with nominals. One example with -ingo as nominal inflection in a non-verbal predicate is the following:
        1. u-nho-ingo
        2. 1-husband-FUT
        1. ekise-i
        2. 3DIST-COP
        1. That (man) will be my husband/is my future husband.
    [^]
  5. I define ‘stem’ as the base that receives inflectional morphology (verbal or nominal) and is composed of one or more non-categorized roots and their categorizers, whether phonologically realized or not (Franchetto 2006; Franchetto & Santos 2017, 2018; Santos 2007). [^]
  6. The immediately post-VP clitic kilü indicates remote past and, at the same time, has the epistemic value of a weak certainty from external evidence, a kind of hearsay. Kuikuro speakers deny that it has any relation to the inflected form of the ‘say’ verb ki. [^]
  7. Akinha is the Kuikuro word for the genre that can be roughly translated as ‘narrative’. [^]
  8. From the narrative ‘Anha ituna tütenhüpe itaõ’ (A/The woman’s journey to the dead’s village’), told by Ájahi Kuikuro and recorded by the author and Carlos Fausto on 23 November, 2004, in Ipatse, the main Kuikuro village. In the inside-out world of the dead, another Kuikuro variety is spoken with different words. For example, to refer to a sieve the dead use the word túhagu, while the living use the word manage. [^]
  9. For a detailed description and analysis of tolo songs—a fixed repertoire composed of ten suites, all in all around 400 pieces—see Franchetto & Montagnani (2011, 2012, 2014) and Franchetto (2018). [^]
  10. In her grammar of Kalapalo, another variety of the Upper Xingu Carib Language, Basso (2019: 245–48) deals briefly with direct quotatives in this language, based mainly on data from narratives. A good part of her statements are valid also for Kuikuro: “Verbs that reference types of speech-acts and quotatives are somewhat unusual in several ways. First is that the quotatives, commonly used, have no roots, only used with a very limited number of aspect suffixes. They are also restricted as to the pronominal prefixes they may take.” The author mentions three quotatives: -nїgї (Kuikuro nügü), an aspectual marker or nominalizer; -ta, an aspectual continous indicative marker; and ki-, a “neutral” speech act verb that simply means ‘utter’ or ‘speak’, used in contexts that are less conversational and more ‘declarative’ in feeling. Basso says that “the first two ‘say to’, and ‘tell to’ only occur in third person and usually with quoted speech from the ancient or historical past…. The third quotative is used with recent speech involving the speaker or listener, so it only occurs in first or second person. Intransitive speech act verbs may have their valence increased by the use of the ergative case marker on the target” (Basso 2019: 245). As we will see, my analysis of quotative constructions departs from Basso’s description in several respects. [^]
  11. For a detailed analysis of this narrative, see Franchetto (2003). [^]
  12. The syntactic mapping of information structure in Kuikuro grammar is also relevant for understanding examples (26) and (27) (Franchetto & Santos 2010). Both examples have a focussed constituent in the left periphery, whose right edge is marked by the topic clitic ha, followed by the distal demonstrative ege suffixed by the non-verbal copula -i. In the these sentences, the focussed constituent is the VP containing the say-verb kilü; the direct or indirect quoted speech is the second part of this biclausal construction. [^]

Acknowledgements

I owe what I know to the commitment and generosity of the Kuikuro people and to our longstanding friendship. Ashauá Didi, Amunegi, Mutuá have been skillful consultants as they are researchers of their own maternal language. I acknowledge the comments and suggestions of the two reviewers, that were crucial for a drastic and necessary revision of the article. The following Brazilian institutions have been a fundamental support for conducting research among the Kuikuro since 1977: Fundação Nacional de Apoio ao Índio (FUNAI), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Museu Nacional (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro). I would also like to thank Suzi Lima and Tonjes Veenstra for their guidance as coorganizers of the COSY Project, of its associated workshops, and of this publication.

Funding Information

The author acknowledges support form Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). The DoBeS Program financed the Project for the Documentation of the Upper Xingu Carib Language or Kuikuro from 2001 to 2005.

Competing Interests

The author has no competing interests to declare.

References

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