nominal-internal person agreement

Eitan Grossman eitan.grossman at MAIL.HUJI.AC.IL
Sat Sep 29 14:01:16 UTC 2012


Regarding Hebrew, I'm not sure that the analogous structures would always
be adverbial, since person-indexed quantifiers (and other kinds of
elements) can also occur in fairly straightforwardly nominal environments,
e.g.,

1. kul-anu po  (the morphemic division here is a bit arbitrary, and
probably some would render it kula-nu)
   all-1pl here
   'We're all here.'

2. hu     diber   im    kul-am
   3sgm spoke with  all-3pl
  'He spoke with everyone'

3. kul-i ozen
   all-1sg ear
  'I'm all ears.'

4. ra'iti et kul-am
    I.saw DOM all-3pl
    'I saw everyone.'

Similar is rub- ('most):

5. rub-o Stuyot
    most-3sgm nonsense
   'It's mostly nonsense.'

It's true that when occurring with a lexical noun phrase or another person
marker, the usual analysis would be adverbial, but then one would say that
these person-indexed quantifiers have different analyses when occurring
with a lexical noun phrase and when occurring without one.

6. anaxnu kul-anu po
   we        all-1pl  here
  'We're all here.' (compare ex. 1 above).

In any event, there's no need to posit a missing person marker or lexical
noun phrase in the above examples to preserve an adverbial analysis.
Perhaps not incidentally, in colloquial Hebrew there's a pretty strong
preference for invariable quantifiers (without person indexing) when the
quantified element is a lexical noun phrase:

7. ha-sfarim kul-am/rub-am (less frequent)
   the-books all-3pl/most-3pl
   'all/most of the books'

8. kol/rov ha-sfarim (more frequent)
   all/most  the-books
  'all/most of the books'

Just to name another language with person indexing on quantifiers: in
Coptic, there's an analogous construction, which is usually analyzed as
adverbial, e.g.,

9. p-kosmos têr-f
   the-world  all-3sgm
   'the whole world'

10. ntôtn têr-tn
   you   all-2pl
   'all of you'

In some respects, such elements seem to pattern like intensifiers in both
Hebrew and Coptic (König & Gast, *Linguistic Typology* 10/2: 223-276).
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