Re 'and'

Edith A Moravcsik edith at CSD.UWM.EDU
Thu Dec 28 21:38:40 UTC 2000


There are two ways to do this in Basaa, having to do with how noun
phrases are conjoined, e.g.

1) John ni Mary      'John and Mary'

2) John BO-na Mary   (literally, John they-with Mary)

I haven't explicitly looked into the question you asked, but have the
impression that 1) is ambiguous. 2), on the other hand, must mean
they went together. There is in fact a whole set of "compound
pronouns", e.g.

Bes-na nyE  (lit. we-with him) : 'he and I'
Bes-na BO   (lit. we-with them): 'we and they, I and they'  etc.

There also is a word loN (N = velar nasal) meaning 'together' to
which one can add ni or na.

The Grassfields Bantu languages are also rich in these compounded forms.


>In the beginning of December, I posted a query regarding the grammatical
>means that languages use to differentiate between the following two
>    (a) John and Mary went to the party together.
>    (b) John and Mary went to the party separately.
>I was interested in ways of expressing these two meanings other than by
>the use of different adverbs - as in English - and other than the use of
>the comitative case on "Mary" in (a). More particulary, I was wondering if
>there were languages with alternative forms for 'and' that express the two
>meanings while keeping the equal status of the conjuncts.
>The eight responses all came directly to my e-mail address. I would like,
>once again, to thank to the respondents. Here is a summary. On request, I
>can reproduce more detail from the responses.
>LUIS OQUENDO noted that in the Wayuunaiki language, the word -_jeh_ 'and'
>has different additional meanings.
>ELENA MASLOVA referred me to a paper by Suzanne Kemmer.
>The reference is this: "Collective and distributive meaning, or: where
>unity meets multiplicity." 23rd LACUS Forum 1996, edited by Alan K. Melby,
>Chapel Hill, NC: Linguistic Association of Canada and the US, 231-249.
>It is indeed an interesting study focussing on the expressions of verbal
>collectivity and distributivity and showing, among others, that either can
>be expressed with a reciprocity marker.
>MARK DONOHUE reports that in Tukang Besi there are three ways of
>expressing these two meanings, one ambiguous between 'together' and
>'separately' and two specific to these meanings. The three expressions
>differ in verb form, in particles, and in whether the two conjuncts are
>adjacent or not. See Mark Donohue: _A grammar of Tukang Besi_. Berlin:
>Mouton de Gruyter. Grammar Library Series, #20. 1999.
>ANVITA ABBI reports in Hindi, a redpulicated comitative form is used for
>the 'together' meaning. An alternative is a construction that is ambiguous
>between the two meaning:
>it consists of an unreduced coordination of the two sentences 'John went
>to the party.' and 'Mary went to the party' conjoined with the word _aur_
>and the inclusive emphatic particle added to 'Mary'.
>JOHN OLE ASKEDAL provided Norwegian data. The contrast is made with the
>use of the adverb for 'together' versus the use of a reflexive form for
>the 'separately' meaning.
>URSULA DOLESCHAL noted the Slavic "my s toboj" construction
>("we with you", where "we" is in reference to 'I' and 'you'
>only). She suggested, however, that native speakers of Russian and Slovene
>would need to be consulted to make sure these constructions did indeed
>unambiguously convey the meaning of 'together' in these two languages.
>ALEXANDRA Y. AIKHENVALD provided information on a similar construction in
>Tariana (Arawak) - a language for which she has just completed a
>voluminous grammar. For the expression of the 'together' meaning, the
>second conjunct is in the comitative case and the verb is in the third
>person plural.
>For the 'separately' meaning, a coordinating enclitic is used on the
>second conjunct instead of the comitative, with the verb, again, in third
>person plural.
>ANDREJ MALCHUKOV reported on Even (Tungusic). Both meanings are expressed
>the same basic way, which involves the comitative on the second conjunct
>and the verb in the third person plural; the only difference is that for
>the 'separately' meaning, the verb carries a distributive affix. For
>further information, see Melchukov's article
>entitled "Verbal distributivity and valency in Even",
>_Languages of the world_ (LINCOM), 1992. #3. (I have not yet been able to
>get hold of it.)
>    ************************************************************************
>			Edith A. Moravcsik
>			Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics
>			University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
>		         Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413
>                          USA
>			E-mail: edith at
>		         Telephone: (414) 229-6794 /office/
>				    (414) 332-0141 /home/
>		         Fax: (414) 229-2741



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