Fw: Logophoric pronouns

Edith A Moravcsik edith at CSD.UWM.EDU
Thu Oct 11 15:20:30 UTC 2001

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Edith Moravcsik


I have a problem regarding logophoric pronouns, and I was wondering whether
you can help me or perhaps suggest the e-mail address of someone who can.

The problem is that I find languages that are reported to mark
logophoricity in the case of all three persons like Gokana to be quite
different from the ones that mark it in the case of second and third
person only. The former indicate coreference between the speech roles of
reported and reporting speech contexts, whereas the latter indicate
non-coreference between the two.

For example, the logophorically marked second person pronoun of Gokana
translates as second person in English, whereas that of Mupun translates as
third person! In fact the types of sentences in which Mupun has an
logophoric addressee pronoun, such as for example, "I told him that he
(Log2) should come" cannot have a logophorically marked pronoun in Gokana,
according to Hyman & Comrie (1981:22).

I find this to be true of two other languages that are reported to have
logophoric marking for all three persons, namely Lele (Weisemann 1986) and
Yag Di (Bohnhoff 1986). Both Weisemann and Bohnhoff mention that it is not
necessary to resort to the original speech act for describing the
logophorically marked pronouns of these two languages.

I would very much like to know whether other languages that mark
logophoricity in second and third persons only also differ from Gokana and
Lele in having their addressee pronouns translated as third person
pronouns in English. Unfortunately, however, I have no access to any
grammars or articles that describe such languages.

The point that I am trying to make is that the marking in Gokana, Lele and
Yag Di is not logophoric but anaphoric. It resembles logophoric languages
only by the fact that the marking is restricted to "logophoric" contexts.
That is, they are similar to the so-called "long-distance" reflexives of
Chinese and Korean which are also reported to show preference for
logophoric contexts (Huang 2000).

I think the mix-up in the case of Gokana and Lele has occurred mainly
because the logophorically marked speaker of the original speech context
is described as being represented by "third person" logophoric pronouns
rather than by first person logophoric pronouns apparently because they
translate as third person pronouns in English. In languages like Kannada,
on the other hand, they translate as first person pronouns. Some languages
provide third person agreement for them, but some provide first person
agreement and some have distinct agreement. The crucial point is that
their interpretation depends upon the non-coreference between original
speaker and the current speaker (reporter). This distinction is irrelevant
in the case of anaphoric pronouns.

(dnsbhat at sancharnet.in)

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