VS: nominal-internal person agreement

Fabre Alain alain.fabre at TUT.FI
Sat Sep 29 11:25:07 UTC 2012

I have similar examples from my Nivacle data (Mataguayo family, Paraguayan Chaco):
xa-niôs-e-sh-elh 	ya’-lhakôm’a-elh
1A-ask-3P-instr-pl	1S-all-pl
‘All of us ask about it’

shn-ôk-e-i		kun	kas-lhakôm’a
1pl.incl-go-3-apl.loc	courtesy	1pl.incl.-all
‘Let’s go there!’

-lhakôm’a ‘all’ agrees with the subject of the preceeding verb.  The personal prefixes of –lhakôm’a are ambiguous, because the same prefixes are used for predicative nouns and property verbs (as well as other kinds of verbs). All translational equivalents of adjectives are inflected like predicative nouns and other types of verbs. However, as Nivacle makes extensive use of multi-verb constructions, the above examples could also be analysed as (asyndetic) coordinated VPs.
All the best,
Alain Fabre

Lähettäjä: Discussion List for ALT [LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG] käyttäjän Pattie Epps [pepps at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU] puolesta
Lähetetty: 29. syyskuuta 2012 7:10
Aihe: nominal-internal person agreement

Hello all,

This query is on behalf of Steve Wechsler:

It has been noted that (at least some) Bantu languages have person
agreement inside certain Quantified Noun Phrases:

Thina s-onke   si-fik-ile            (Zulu; Doke 1963:94, cited in
Baker 2008:115)
we     1pl-all    1pl-arrive-perf
'We have all arrived.'

The quantifier onke 'all' agrees with thina 'we' in person (and
number).  This is said to be typologically rare since adnominals such
as quantifiers do not normally agree in person.  I would be interested
in any examples of such apparently nominal-internal person agreement
in Bantu or other languages.  In particular, I wonder if phrases like
[we 1pl-all] can occur in all nominal positions in the sentence (such
as object position), or rather tend to be sentence-initial.

Steve Wechsler
wechsler at mail.utexas.edu

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