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Entre consejos, diablos y vendedores de caca, rasgos gramaticales deloluteco en tres de sus cuentos


Zavala,  Roberto
Language and Cognition Group, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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Zavala, R. (2001). Entre consejos, diablos y vendedores de caca, rasgos gramaticales deloluteco en tres de sus cuentos. Tlalocan. Revista de Fuentes para el Conocimiento de las Culturas Indígenas de México, XIII, 335-414.

The three Olutec stories from Oluta, Veracruz, werenarrated by Antonio Asistente Maldonado. Roberto Zavala presents amorpheme-by-morpheme analysis of the texts with a sketch of the majorgrammatical and typological features of this language. Olutec is spoken bythree dozen speakers. The grammatical structure of this language has not beendescribed before. The sketch contains information on verb and noun morphology,verb dasses, clause types, inverse/direct patterns, grammaticalizationprocesses, applicatives, incorporation, word order type, and discontinuousexpressions. The stories presented here are the first Olutec texts everpublished. The motifs of the stories are well known throughout Middle America.The story of "the Rabbit who wants to be big" explains why one of the mainprotagonists of Middle American folktales acquired long ears. The story of "theDevil who is inebriated by the people of a village" explains how theinhabitants of a village discover the true identity of a man who likes to dancehuapango and decide to get rid of him. Finally the story of "theshit-sellers" presents two compadres, one who is lazy and the otherone who works hard. The hard-worker asks the lazy compadre how he surviveswithout working. The latter lies to to him that he sells shit in theneighboring village. The hard-working compadre decides to become a shit-sellerand in the process realizes that the lazy compadre deceived him. However, he islucky and meets with the Devil who offers him money in compensation for havingbeen deceived. When the lazy compadre realizes that the hard-working compadrehas become rich, he tries to do the same business but gets beaten in theprocess.