[Lingtyp] uses of first plural exclusive pronouns

David Gil gil at eva.mpg.de
Tue Jun 23 15:52:24 UTC 2015


Not exactly what you're looking for, but in the same ballpark, some 
colloquial varieties of Malay/Indonesian offer a partial identity 
between 3rd person plural and 1st person plural exclusive.  The partial 
identity is based on the strategy of combining a pronoun with the common 
noun 'orang' (person).  In several dialects PRO-orang (sometimes 
subsequently reduced) forces a plural interpretation on a pronoun that 
is otherwise singular or unmarked for number.  And in a subset of those 
dialects, 1PL.INCL-orang derives a 1st person exclusive pronoun.  Thus, 
3rd person and 1st exclusive, although not completely identical, share 
the common element 'orang'.

For example, in colloquial Kuala Lumpur Malay:

kita - 1PL.INCL
dia - 3SG

kita orang - 1PL.EXCL
dia orang - 3PL



> 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.
> Regards,
> -Zach O'Hagan
> -- 
> Zachary O'Hagan
> Graduate Student
> Department of Linguistics
> University of California, Berkeley

David Gil

Department of Linguistics
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany

Telephone: 49-341-3550321 Fax: 49-341-3550333
Email: gil at eva.mpg.de
Webpage:  http://www.eva.mpg.de/~gil/

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