[An-lang] Suppletive forms of 1sg+2sg personal pronoun clusters

Loren A. Billings billings at ncnu.edu.tw
Wed Nov 12 12:07:53 UTC 2003

I've been investigating how clusters of bound (or clitic) personal pronouns
are ordered in Central Philippine (CP) languages (as defined, for example,
on <Ethnologue.com>). As is relatively well known to people working on these
languages, the combination of 1SgGen and 2SgNom pronouns results in
replacement of one or both of the expected forms. For example, in Tagalog
the 1SgGen form is _ko_ and the 2SgNom form is _ka_; together in the same
clause, however, we don't get *_ko ka_ or *ka ko_ but rather _kita_
(discussed in detail by Schachter's 1973 paper in _Parangal kay Cecilio
Lopez). For those of you in the know, Tagalog _kita_ is an aberration from
other CP languages, but I won't discuss those details here. (Zorc's 1975
Cornell dissertation, p. 90, lists examples from several Bisayan languages.)
This phenomenon, to my knowledge, exists in every CP language which has
pronoun clusters--namely: Bikol, Bisayan, Mansakan, and Mamanwa. I use the
adjectives _Bisayan_ and _Mansakan_ (and even _Central Philippine_) here
descriptively, without intending to endorse any particular phylogenic brand.

Recently, I attended a workshop on Formosan languages, where I met Lillian
Huang. She (and others) pointed out some similar facts about Mayrinax and
another Atayalic language. In these languages, the morphological cases are
switched (compared to CP). There is a special suppletive form for 1SgNom and
2SgGen. Two grammars I've found so far in this regard are Huang's _A study
of Mayrinax syntax_ (1995) and Rau's _A grammar of Atayal_ (1992).

My query is this:
Does anyone know the extent of this 1SgGen+2SgNom suppletion in Philippine
languages (i.e., within or beyond CP)? Likewise, an anyone tell me about the
similar 1SgNom+2SgGen phenomenon in Atayalic (and beyond)? I am most
interested in comparative works, discussing groups of languages in this
regard. However, mention of such phenomena in descriptions of individual
languages may be the only thing to work with at this point. I'm also
interested in unpublished knowledge you may have.

P.S.: I have just re-subscribed to the list, so if there was any chatter
about this in the past, please humor me with a reference to the archives.


Loren A. Billings, Ph.D.
Associate professor of linguistics
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature
National Chi Nan University
Puli, Nantou, Taiwan 545 Republic of China

E-mail: billings at ncnu.edu.tw

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