VS: nominal-internal person agreement

Daniel W. Hieber dwhieb at GMAIL.COM
Sat Sep 29 12:28:35 UTC 2012

Swahili has this feature too, unsurprisingly:

sisi s-ote
we 1p-all
'all of us'

ninyi ny-ote
you(pl.) 2p-all
'all of you'

Interestingly, you can also omit the pronoun and just say sote, nyote, wote, etc.

Other examples:

Sisi sote tu-me-kwend-a ku-le.
We all 1p-PERF-go-IND LOC-DEM
'We have all gone there.'

Ki-tamba ch-ote ni ki-chafu.
7-cloth 7-all COP 7-dirty
'All the cloth is dirty.'
'The whole cloth is dirty.'

Ny-umba z-ote ni z-angu.
10-house 10-all COP 10-1s.POSS
'All the houses are mine.'

Examples are taken from the following source, and my grammatically judgements agree with all of them.

Wilson, Peter. 1970. Simplified Swahili. Essex: Longman.



Omnis habet sua dona dies. ~ Martial

On Sep 29, 2012, at 7:25 AM, Fabre Alain <alain.fabre at TUT.FI> wrote:

> 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.
> Thanks,
> Steve Wechsler
> wechsler at mail.utexas.edu
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