[Lingtyp] uses of first plural exclusive pronouns

Bill Palmer bill.palmer at newcastle.edu.au
Tue Jun 23 12:38:26 UTC 2015

Dear Kilu

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this in a few Meso-Melanesian languages, though I can’t bring to mind off hand which ones. I’ll try to have a look and post again. It’s hard to say why this happens, but I suspect that they are collapsing into a non-3rd person category. I suspect that 1incl is not involved because that category is a little more complex than simply a group of individuals including one or other of the SAPs.


From: Lingtyp [mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org] On Behalf Of Kilu von Prince
Sent: Tuesday, 23 June 2015 10:26 PM
To: Zachary O'Hagan
Cc: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] uses of first plural exclusive pronouns

Dear Zach, and dear colleagues,

I'm not aware of the exact phenomenon you're looking for, but I'd like to piggyback on your question, because I have an observation that I find much weirder and have so far not been able to make any sense of:

In Dalkalaen (Oceanic, spoken in Vanuatu), the first person exclusive pronouns for paucal and plural number are being collapsed with the corresponding second person pronouns. Are there other languages with this property? Does anyone have a theory as to why this might happen?


On Fri, May 29, 2015 at 1:34 PM, Zachary O'Hagan <zohagan at berkeley.edu<mailto:zohagan at berkeley.edu>> wrote:
Dear colleagues,

It is known that first plural inclusive pronouns can be used for polite first- or second-person reference in some languages.  I am searching for instances in any language in which a first plural *exclusive* pronoun can be used for polite *third*-person reference, or for instances in which a third-person pronoun can be shown to originate historically in a first plural exclusive pronoun.  Possible references are much appreciated.


-Zach O'Hagan

Zachary O'Hagan
Graduate Student
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Berkeley

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