Mixe and English/Contrastive Grammar

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Grammatical differences

1 & 2

very different grammatical tags on verbs

Verb grammatical tags
mto eng
aspect: <icpl>, <cpl>, <irr> tense: <pres>, <past>, etc.
independent vs. dependent predicates; <idt>, <dep> --

On predicate types in mto:

  • Independent predicates are part of an affirmative clause that has no pre-verbal elements that are associated with dependent clauses. Such elements include adverbs, interrogative pronouns, quantifiers, auxiliary verbs, negation, and others.

3 & 4

In Mixe, the order of subject, object, and agent arguments is relatively free compared to in English.

Most common word orders in Mixe:

  • SV
  • V (with the subject or agent not explicit)
  • OV

For verbs with two explicit arguments, both SOV and OSV are common. S and O are distinguished by verb morphology, not by argument order.

In English, on the other hand, clauses are often SVO, and argument order distinguishes between types of arguments.

order of verb arguments

explicit vs. non-explicit arguments


In Mixe, possession is marked with a prefix on the possessed noun. In English, it's marked with a possessive determiner.