Пространственные падежи в быстринском диалекте эвенского языка
This paper discusses locative cases in the Bystraya dialect of Even. Our goal is to provide a description of locative cases and their usage in this idiom, as well as to compare them with the peculiarities of expressing orientation and localization found in other Even dialects’ descriptions. The paper is based on field materials collected by elicitation with Even and Russian stimuli.
Eight out of the thirteen Even cases can express spatial meanings. For this work, the locative cases were considered in groups corresponding to the four main semantic roles they represent: Place, Path, Source, and Goal. In Standard Even, each case has its own special functions in its group, while in the Bystraya dialect, each of the four groups includes a basic case (i.e. the Locative, the Prolative, the Ablative, and the Directive, respectively) with the most general meaning that can occur in almost all contexts. The remaining cases show different behaviour patterns. While some cases behave as presented in grammatical descriptions, others scope over broader contexts, though most preference is still given to the narrower contexts described in the literature. Finally, one case, the Directive-Prolative, is almost out of use in the dialect.
Apart from the differences in distribution, morphonological shifts can occur in the complementary distributed allomorphs of the locative case suffixes. This feature also distinguishes the Standard Even from the Bystraya dialect.
The paper suggests possible explanations for these differences. One is that the distinctive features of this idiom arose due to contacts with other languages of the area. Another possible explanation is a gradual loss of the language and Russianization of the population.