Rolando Félix Armendáriz

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Rolando Félix Armendáriz

Rolando Guadalupe Félix Armendáriz (1961-12-09 - 2007-09-09) was a Mexican Uto-Aztecanist.


Rolando Félix Armendáriz entered the B.A. Program in Linguistics at the University of Sonora, in Hermosillo, Sonora, México in August 1993. At the beginning he was interested in doing neurolinguistics, but eventually he turned enthusiastically to morphosyntactic research on Mexico’s native languages. This interest made him get involved – from 1998 to 2000 – in the first graduate class of the Master Program in Linguistics at the University of Sonora. During this period, he had the opportunity to attend courses lectured by Bernard Comrie, Robert D. Van Valin, Jr., T. Givón, William A. Foley, Karen Dakin, Thomas Smith-Stark, and other Mexican professors.

From August 2000 to June 2004 he pursued his Ph.D. studies at Rice University in Houston, Texas, where he was awarded with a scholarship. Immediately after that, he obtained an invitation from the Department of Linguistics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leizpig, Germany, to write his dissertation.


Félix Armendáriz´s M.A. thesis deals with the grammatical relations in Yaqui taking Role and Reference Grammar as a theoretical approach. His work focuses on double object constructions, summarizing previous studies, in particular Escalante (1990) and Rude (1996), and centering on the coding and behavioral properties of the construction according to Keenan (1976). The thesis proposes that Yaqui is a primary object language, and that Yaqui is a language where grammatical relations as well as semantic relations are present.

At Rice University, Félix Armendáriz worked closely with James Copeland, Philip Davis, and Masayoshi Shibatani, who were also principal members of his dissertation committee. Bernard Comrie was an external reader. His Ph.D. dissertation, focusing on Warihío, another Uto-Aztecan language, was entitled A Grammar of River Warihio and was completed in 2005. This work contains detailed analyses of the complex and rich voice phenomena in addition to an overall description of the language in the functional-typological framework. It is also a useful reference grammar contributing especially to the understanding of many aspects of morphosyntax of Uto-Aztecan languages.

From 1998 to his untimely passing, Félix Armendáriz presented eighteen papers at several different international conferences, such as Workshop on American Indigenous Languages at Santa Barbara, the Annual meeting of SSILA, at Albuquerque, Syntax of the World's Languages at Leipzig, Congress 7 of the High Desert Linguistics Society at Albuquerque, and International Conference on Role and Reference Grammar at Mexico City, among others. In addition, Félix Armendáriz published approximately ten articles, dealing with morphosyntactic aspects of Warihio and Yaqui. However, his most important publication is the book A Grammar of River Warihio (Félix Armendáriz 2007), based on his dissertation. It is the first thorough treatment of one of the undescribed Uto-Aztecan languages of Sonora, Mexico, with approximately three thousand speakers.


  • Félix Armendáriz, Rolando Gpe. 2000. Relaciones gramaticales en yaqui: un análisis en el marco de la Gramática del Rol y Referencia. M.A. Thesis, Master's Program in Linguistics, Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, México.
  • Félix Armendáriz, Rolando. 2004. Causation in Warihío. Santa Barbara Papers in Linguistics, Vol. 13. Proceedings from the sixth Workshop on American Indigenous Languages. Languages. April 23-25, 2003.
  • Félix Armendáriz, Rolando. 2005. What is a passive? The case of Yaqui and Warihío. Santa Barbara Papers in Linguistics, Vol. 16. Proceedings from the eigth Workshop on American Indigenous Languages. Languages. April 21-23, 2005.
  • Félix Armendáriz, Rolando Gpe. 2005. A Grammar of River Warihio. Ph.D. Dissertation, Rice University.
  • Félix Armendáriz, Rolando Gpe. 2007. A Grammar of River Warihío. (LINCOM Studies in Native American Linguistics, 56.) Munich: Lincom. (ISBN: 9783895864735)


Materials for this articles were contributed by Zarina Estrada Fernández and Masayoshi Shibatani.