Prefixed / proclitic plurals

Johanna Laakso johanna.laakso at UNIVIE.AC.AT
Thu Sep 20 07:06:51 UTC 2001

Dear colleagues,

I agree with Hannu Tommola. The initial n- in the plural forms of
demonstrative (and, secondarily, 3rd person) pronouns in Finnic, Mordvin,
Mari and Komi (and some questionable equivalents in more remotely related
languages), must be considered rather suppletion than prefixation.
Considering its distribution, the phenomenon is an old one but clearly
lexically determined; Ulla-Maija Kulonen has in her recent paper ("Zum
n-Element der zweiten Personen besonders im Obugrischen", Finnisch-Ugrische
Forschungen 56 (2001)) pointed out that this dichotomy of t- (sg.) and n-
(pl.) has interesting parallels in the marking of the 2nd person (t or n) in

But, as pointed out by Hannu Tommola: this is lexically determined as far as
we can see, and thus no genuine morphological prefixation.


Johanna Laakso
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johanna Laakso
Institut für Finno-Ugristik der Universität Wien
Universitätscampus, Spitalg. 2-4 Hof 7, A-1090 Wien
Tel. +43 1 4277 43009 | Fax +43 1 4277 9430
johanna.laakso at |

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