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Amazonian Languages: An International Handbook, De Gruyter Mouton (2023)


Chimane-Mosetén (also known as Mosetenan; ISO 639–3: cas; Glottocode: mose1249) is a dialect continuum spoken by 13,500–16,000 people in the Amazonian region of northern Bolivia. It has not been convincingly shown to be related to any other language. Its status as an isolate makes it unique in many respects, not least in its combination of features typical of both Amazonian and Andean languages. Like its closer geographical neighbors in Amazonian Bolivia, including Movima, Tacana, Reyesano, and Cavineña, it exhibits contrastive nasality in the vowel system and is head marking and predominantly agglutinative. Bound pronominal forms marking arguments in the clause have the same form as bound pronominals marking possessors. Subordinate clauses typically involve nominalized verbs. Unlike most of its Amazonian neighbors, on the other hand, it does not have a semantically-based classifier or gender system but instead features arbitrarily assigned masculine or feminine gender. It also does not feature any incorporation of nouns, adverbs, or adpositions. It has an extensive oblique case-marking system, though core case-marking does not occur. More similar to Quechua and other Andean languages, it features a complex predicate-argument agreement system in which one or more agreement suffixes cross-reference the subject and object arguments of a transitive verb. It also has a large class of lexical numbers following a decimal numeral system.

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