A grammar of Kwaza by Hein van der Voort

By Hein van der Voort

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Extra info for A grammar of Kwaza

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Later, the SPI transported many Indians to the Ministry of Agriculture station, south of Porto Velho called DEMA8. After some time, a number of Aikanã were transported to their original lands on the Tanaru river. These fertile lands were then sold or ceded to farmers by the INCRA9, wich in 1973 tricked the Aikanã into accepting the poor soils of the Tubarão-Latundê reserve as compensation. From 1940 to 1960, Indians continued to be enslaved on the rubber estates. In this period, several waves of epidemics further decimated the Indians of Southern Rondônia.

Their home language is Aikanã. Tawi'wi Woro'kãu, or José, son, born in 1976. He has recently married with a Sabanê woman and lives in Gleba. i, or Carlos, son, born in 1979. He has recently married with an Aikanã woman and lives in Gleba. The children of Mario and Raimunda speak Aikanã as their mother’s tongue. They understand Kwaza, which they have learnt from their grandmother Maria Edite, but their active command of the language seems to be limited. They also speak and understand Portuguese, which is used in contact with the children of their aunt Iracema, with the Latundê, and with the school teacher and the missionary in Gleba.

This was hardly possible in my case because of the attention we got from the many children and the way we were involved in community life. The different sessions in the field consisted of formal elicitation of word lists and minimal pairs. These were recorded on tape for phonological documentation and analysis. Furthermore, I asked for translations into Kwaza of series of Portuguese sentences which I had based on Comrie and Smith’s (1977) and Dahl’s (1985) questionnaires, and on the three volumes edited by Shopen (1985).

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