query: associative plurals via noun-verb disagreement PS

Daniel misha.daniel at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 14 05:40:38 UTC 2008

Nicholas Evans пишет:
> David, this is very common in Australian languages. I have some 
> discussion and data for this in Bininj Gun-wok on pp. 240-241 of my 
> 2003 grammar (where I call them set-subset constructions); Ruth Singer 
> has written some typological surveys of it under the rubric 'inclusory 
> constructions'.
> Best, Nick


inclusory pronominal constructions, at least in their typical 
representation, are not directly relevant to David's query. There is a 
difference between 'David and them / David and his group' which is an 
associative plural and 'they, including John' which is and inclusory 
pronominal construction. The difference is on who's in  focus.

In the case of associative plural construction, it is the named referent 
who is in focus, it's about David. In the case of inclusory 
construction, the story is about a group which is already known, and the 
speaker specifies that this group also includes David. Of course, it is 
not always easy to distinguish between the two, because in many 
languages it is exactly third person plural pronoun which is 
grammaticalized as an associative plural marker. But the difference is 
sometimes quite clear. 

PS For inclusory pronominal constructions, I like your set/subset 
terminology better, though, because in some cases these constructions do 
not have to use pronominals at all. I would even call them, in a most 
general sense, reference overlap constructions. In some East Caucasian 
languages you may have constructions like:

Nick-PL Sasha-PL

which mean a group including Nick and Sasha and someone else. These may 
be analysed as two associative plural construction with reference overlap.

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