Peter Bakker linpb at HUM.AAU.DK
Mon Oct 19 11:02:07 UTC 1998

> Concerning Martin's unidirectional extension Noun > Pronoun:
> Pronoun > Noun may be unnatural/rare, but is probably not impossible.

In this connection it may be useful to point to cases where a
possessive pronoun is combined with a noun, and which may become the
normal form of the pronoun (like in Black English "your ass").
There is an interesting article by Norval Smith called "complex
personal pronouns in the secret languages of nomadic castes", pp.
44-49 in A. Bruyn & J. 'Mengelwerk voor Muysken',
publications of the Institute for General Linguistics 72,
University of Amsterdam, 1998).
This phenomenon is apparently reasonably common in
'Cant'-like languages (Gammon in Ireland, and its derivative Irish
Traveller Cant in the USA), and Taron, a kettlesmith language of the
Alps, Helebi of Egypt (related to Romani), a language of Ethiopia,
and others.
It is extremely rare, however, in 'normal' languages. Smith lists
Cayuvava, some Australian languages of the Yuin and Kulin subgroups,
e.g. Ngunawal.

Peter Bakker, Aarhus

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