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ABSTRACT. Coahuilteco is the name given to a group of poorly known Indian language varieties formerly spoken in South Texas. Our principal knowledge of the language comes from a confessor's manual written for use in the San Antonio missions. Basic constituent order is SOV. Relative clauses are externally headed (EHRC) and follow the Noun, followed by an independent Demonstrative (N-RC-Dem), a structure apparently unique in North America. Verbs in the RC lack tense marking and most post-verbal auxiliaries, and intransitive verbs carry argument agreement prefixes also used as possessive prefixes on nouns, followed by a subordinating/nominalizing prefix. Coahuilteco employs a gapping strategy within the RC, as well as null pronouns. DPs relativized within the RC conform to the Noun Phrase Accessibility Hierarchy. Over 80% of RCs occur in Object DPs. perhaps reflecting processing constraints or the distribution of old vs. new information. 1. INTRODUCTION. Coahuilteco, a language isolate formerly spoken in South Texas, (1) exhibited a set of syntactic characteristics which place it typologically within Greenberg's (1963) Type 24 in his classification of constituent-order combinations among the world's languages. The basic constituent order in Coahuilteco is Subject-Object-Verb-Aux (SOV), but the verb-final order is non-rigid, since Objects and other elements may be extraposed to follow the verb. As with other languages of Type 24, the Genitive precedes the head Noun (GN), and Adjectives follow the noun (NA). In addition, in Coahuilteco, though not in all other languages of the type, Quantifiers, (2) Relative Clauses, and Demonstratives also follow the noun (NRel). Among the criterial features of the type, Coahuilteco lacks postpositions as such, though Demonstrative/Relators functionally take their place to some extent. (3) Crucially, Demonstratives follow Relative Clauses and Relative Clauses are externally headed (EHRC). Additionally, there are no relative pronouns or complementizers used within relative clauses ([S.sub.Rel]). As with some other New World languages, Coahuilteco relative clauses usually follow what Comrie (2006) has called the 'gapping' strategy, in which the Demonstrative Phrase (DP) which is relativized within the Relative Clause is omitted (is phonetically null). Coahuilteco is strictly Nominative-Accusative in terms of argument-marking. In at least one respect--the obligatory occurrence of Subject person agreement on Object and oblique DPs--the language is thus far apparently unique (Troike 1981).

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Linguistic Association of the Southwest

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