A'ingae (or Cofán, ISO 639-3: con) is an Amazonian isolate spoken by ca. 1,500 Cofán people in the province of Sucumbíos (northeast Ecuador) and the department of Putumayo (southern Colombia). In addition to documenting and describing the language, I have explored a number of theoretical topics, including the morphophonology of stress and glottalization, recent sound changes, negative agreement on nominalizing heads, apprehensional semantics, second-position clitics, pied-piping, conditional constructions, and other.
1.1.1  ... at the interface with complementizer morphosyntax
I show that the patterns of stress and glottalization in subordinate clauses are sensitive to the morphological structure of the subordinate verb, violating bracket erasure (Kiparsky, 1982). I capture the pattern with phase faithfulness constraints (McPherson and Heath, 2016) indexed to the category of the input phase.
1.1.2  ... at the interface with verbal morphosyntax
I describe the rich verbal morphology of A'ingae and analyze the language's phonology of stress and glottalization. I argue that morpheme-specific stress deletion cannot be captured representationally. I demonstrate that the tier of the A'ingae glottal stop differs between two morphological domains and interacts with stress deletion, bearing out a new prediction of Cophonologies by Phase (Sande, Jenks, and Inkelas, 2020).
Two grammars of A'ingae glottalization: A case for Cophonologies by Phase. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory. 2023. ❧ Invited talk presented at the Atelier de phonologie research seminar Paris 8 University Vincennes-Saint-Denis. 2022. ❧ Talk presented at the QP Fest, University of California, Berkeley. 2023.
The morphophonology of A'ingae verbal stress. In: Proceedings of the 38th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, pp. 137–146. Ed. by Rachel Soo, Una Y. Chow, and Sander Nederveen. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. 2021.
1.1.3  ... in reduplication
I describe and analyze the A'ingae superplural reduplicative suffix -ʔσ, which requires that the base and the reduplicant form (ˈσ1̆σ2ʔ)σ2. I model this behavior with a reduplicant-specific cophonology (e.g. Orgun, 1996), which consists of a ranking of constraints motivated elsewhere in the language's grammar (Dąbkowski, t.a.). Thus, I demonstrate that A'ingae reduplication is highly phonologically optimizing.
A'ingae reduplication is phonologically optimizing. In: Supplemental Proceedings of the 2022 Annual Meeting on Phonology. Ed. by Noah Elkins, Bruce Hayes, Jinyoung Jo, and Jian-Leat Siah. Washington, DC: Linguistic Society of America. 2023.
I document a typologically unusual process of postlabial raising in A'ingae. I present a model which derives the postlabial raising through an interaction of constraint weights and the number of Q-Theoretic (Inkelas and Shih, 2016, 2017) subsegments, contributing a novel argument for the representations of Q-Theory. I argue that the contemporary variation in the distribution of ai and ɨi is a consequence of sound change, followed by recent replacement and partial paradigmatic leveling.
A Q-Theoretic solution to A'ingae postlabial raising. Linguistic Inquiry. Under revision. ❧ Poster presented at the 29th Manchester Phonology Meeting, University of Edinburgh and University of Manchester. 2022.
Postlabial raising and paradigmatic leveling in A'ingae: A diachronic study from the field. In: Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 8(1). 5428. Ed. by Patrick Farrell. Washington, DC: Linguistic Society of America. 2023.
I identify the "nominal negative" suffix -a nn, which obligatorily attaches to noun phrase-internal functional heads that nominalize negated predicates. I propose that -a nn expones agreement with the Neg(ative) feature on T. Therefore, I document the first case of agreement with polarity on nominalizers to date.
In a collaborative project with Scott AnderBois, we describe and analyze different uses of the A'ingae apprehensional morpheme -sa'ne appr. We put forth a formal account of rationale and precautioning clauses, which captures language-internal asymmetries and typological trends within this semantic domain. We propose a typological framework for describing and comparing apprehensional synchrony and diachrony.
A'ingae =sa'ne 'appr' and the semantic typology of apprehensional adjuncts, as equal author, with Scott AnderBois. In: Proceedings of the 30th Semantics and Linguistic Theory Conference, pp. 43–62. Ed. by Joseph Rhyne, Kaelyn Lamp, Nicole Dreier, and Chloe Kwon. Washington, DC: Linguistic Society of America. 2020.
The apprehensional domain in A'ingae (Cofán), as first author, with Scott AnderBois. In: Apprehensional constructions in a cross-linguistic perspective. Ed. by Marine Vuillermet, Martina Faller, and Eva Schultze Berndt. Studies in Diversity Linguistics. Language Science Press. To appear.
I argue that A'ingae second-position clitics are matrix clausal C-heads. Thus, I show that—despite its apparent non-configurationality—A'ingae has a structured left periphery. I describe A'ingae pied-piping structures and provide a Q-based (Cable, 2010) analysis thereof.
A'ingae second-position clitics are matrix C-heads. In: Proceedings of the 25th Workshop on Structure and Constituency in the Languages of the Americas. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics. To appear.
I have documented A'ingae in the indigenous communities of Dureno and Sinangoé (Sucumbíos, Ecuador) and remotely. I have deposited over 14h of oral narrative video recordings (of which 2h30min transcribed and translated) and elicitation data, including fieldnotes and over 70h of audio recordings. I have played a key role in developing a FLEx database of morphologically analyzed A'ingae texts.
A'ingae field materials, as first contributor, with Shen Aguinda, Jorge Mendúa, Leidy Quenamá, and Raúl Quieta. 2020-19. California Language Archive, Survey of California and Other Indian Languages. University of California, Berkeley.