demonstrative or pronoun?

Joseph T. Farquharson jtfarquharson at GMAIL.COM
Fri Aug 7 16:54:00 UTC 2009


In Jamaican Creole we use Focus constructions, one with a pronoun (1) and
the other with a demonstrative (2):


1.  A mi Jan
    FOC 1SG John

2.  A Jan dis
    FOC John DEM


2009/8/7 Siva Kalyan <sivakalyan.princeton at gmail.com>

> In Tamil (on the telephone) one would use the name followed by the verb for
> 'speak' in the first person singular. See Asher and Annamalai's (2002)
> textbook (
> http://books.google.com/books?id=iMZpM40xFfsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=asher+tamil&ei=xlR8SrKtG4HUlAS4irSmDQ#v=onepage&q=&f=false)
> for an example.
> In languages such as Japanese, which are pro-drop and where verbs don't
> inflect for person and number, I imagine it would be hard to tell the two
> possibilities apart (in this case, both would be simply *Jon desu*).
>
> Hope this helps.
> Siva
>
>
> On Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 5:52 AM, Olesya Khanina <khanina at eva.mpg.de> wrote:
>
>> Dear David,
>>
>> the same in Russian
>>
>> Regards,
>> Olesya
>>
>>
>> Siewierska, Anna wrote:
>>
>>> Dear David,
>>>
>>> In Polish you would use the demonstrative, To Jan.
>>>
>>> Best
>>>
>>> Anna
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Discussion List for ALT [mailto:LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG]
>>> On Behalf Of David Gil
>>> Sent: 07 August 2009 15:09
>>> To: LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG
>>> Subject: demonstrative or pronoun?
>>>
>>> Dear all,
>>>
>>> Consider the following very similar contexts;
>>>
>>> Context A:
>>> John and Bill are friends.  John calls Bill on a landphone; it's a bad
>>> line, Bill doesn't know who is speaking; John tries to identify himself
>>> (using a predicate nominal construction)...
>>>
>>> Context B:
>>> John and Bill are friends.  John sends Bill a text message from a new
>>> number that Bill is unfamiliar with; John identifies himself (using a
>>> predicate nominal construction)...
>>>
>>> My question:
>>>
>>> In languages that you are familiar with, in the above contexts, is the
>>> subject of the predicate nominal construction a demonstrative or a 1st
>>> pronoun pronoun?
>>>
>>> In English, the subject is a demonstrative; the pronoun is infelicitous
>>> in the given context:
>>>
>>> This is John
>>> #I am John
>>>
>>> But in Indonesian, the subject is most commonly a pronoun, though a
>>> demonstrative is also possible:
>>>
>>> Ini John [less common]
>>> Aku John
>>>
>>> I am curious to know what happens in other languages.  (I have a hunch
>>> that the availability of the "pronominal subject" option in Indonesian is
>>> correlated with the questionable status of pronouns as a discrete
>>> grammatical category in Indonesian, but this hunch is easily testable with a
>>> bit of cross-linguistic data.)
>>>
>>> Note: I don't expect to find differences between the two contexts; I
>>> provided both just in order to make the situation more natural to as many
>>> respondents as possible.
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>>
>>> David
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>> --
>> ****************************************************************
>> Olesya Khanina (PhD)
>> Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
>> Department of Linguistics
>> Deutscher Platz 6       phone:    +49 (0) 341 35 50 339
>> D-04103 Leipzig         fax:      +49 (0) 341 35 50 333
>> Germany                 e-mail:    khanina at eva.mpg.de
>> http://email.eva.mpg.de/~khanina/ <http://email.eva.mpg.de/%7Ekhanina/>
>> ****************************************************************
>>
>
>


-- 
Joseph T. Farquharson
Lecturer
Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies
University of Technology, Jamaica
237 Old Hope Road
Kingston 6 Jamaica
Website: www.jotifa.com Alternative Email 1: jfarquharson at utech.edu.jm
Alternative Email 2: joseph.farquharson at uwimona.edu.jm Blog:
http://jtfarquharson.wordpress.com/
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