The Forms and Functions of Switch Reference in A’ingae

Scott AnderBois, Daniel Altshuler, Wilson D.L. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper examines switch reference (SR) in A’ingae, an understudied isolate language from Amazonian Ecuador. We present a theoretically informed survey of SR, identifying three distinct uses of switch reference: in clause chaining, adverbial clauses, and so-called ‘bridging’ clause linkage. We describe the syntactic and semantic properties of each use in detail, the first such description for A’ingae, showing that the three constructions differ in important ways. While leaving a full syntactic analysis to future work, we argue that these disparate properties preclude a syntactic account that unifies these three constructions to the exclusion of other environments without SR. Conversely, while a full semantic account is also left to future work, we suggest that a unified semantic account in terms of discourse coherence principles appears more promising. In particular, we propose that switch reference in A’ingae occurs in all and only the constructions that are semantically restricted to non-structuring coordinating coherence relations in the sense of Segmented Discourse Representation Theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number137
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • adverbial clauses
  • bridging
  • clause chaining
  • coherence
  • coordination
  • discourse coordination
  • switch reference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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