"Morphological splits" in pronouns

Eitan Grossman eitan.grossman at MAIL.HUJI.AC.IL
Mon Sep 15 15:43:28 UTC 2014

Dear Ilja,

Coptic has a case-marking split for lexical NPs and bound person markers
for the nominative: only lexical NPs (and only postverbal ones) can bear
nominative marking. Nominative marking in this language seems to be
associated with high-accessibility lexical NPs, in the sense articulated by
Mira Ariel.

Giorgio Iemmolo and I have been working on this for a while, and we think
that it has to do with a mismatch between grammatical roles (A/S) and
expected information structural properties - one would expect that A/S
would be highly accessible, and lexical NPs tend to code low accessibility
referents. Unexpected mismatches tend to be overtly coded.

The latest version of our work on this, but not the final version, can be
found here: https://www.academia.edu/6001487/Case_in_Coptic_whats_coded


Eitan Grossman
Lecturer, Department of Linguistics/School of Language Sciences
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Tel: +972 2 588 3809
Fax: +972 2 588 1224

On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 3:15 PM, ilja.serzants at uni-konstanz.de <
ilja.serzants at uni-konstanz.de> wrote:

>  Dear all,
> I am interested in splits between nouns and pronouns as regards
> case-marking of A, S, P (in Lazard's terms).
> While various (morpho)syntactic splits between nouns and pronouns are
> well-known, I am looking for discussions in the literature about why the
> morphological form of the pronouns in the nominative/absolutive or ergative
> case is often so different (in terms of its phonological realization)
> (1) from other cases of the pronominal paradigm, cf. Latin NOM *ego *'I' *vs.
> *ACC *me, *DAT* mihi, *GEN* mei *(the oblique cases have at least the
> first* m- *in common) and
> (2) from the same cases in the paradigm of nouns, cf.* Latin **ego *
> 'I.NOM' vs. *lup-us 'wolf-*NOM.SG*' *(in Latin nouns must have a non-zero
> nominative affix whereas pronouns always employ suppletion here).
> It seems that Indo-European lgs. are by far not the only ones that have
> this sort of "morphological splits".
> I would primarily appreciate references to functional accounts (both
> language-specific and cross-linguistic) but any diachronic references (to
> the exclusion of Proto-Indo-European) would also be of great help.
> Many thanks,
> Ilja Ser ž ant
> --
> Ilja A. Seržant, postdoc
> University of Konstanz
> Department of Linguistics
> Zukunftskolleg, Box 216
> D-78457 KONSTANZ
> URL: http://www.uni-konstanz.de/serzants/
> Tel.: +49 753 188 5672
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