[Lingtyp] Call for manifestations of interest - ALT 2019 - Theme Session proposal "Towards a diachronic typology of individual person markers"

Andrea Sansò asanso at gmail.com
Wed Oct 24 17:23:17 UTC 2018

*** Apologies for cross-postings ***

Towards a diachronic typology of individual person markers

Theme session proposal for the 13th Conference of the Association for
Linguistic Typology (September 4-6, 2019)


Linda Konnerth (Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University of Oregon)

Andrea Sansò (Università dell’Insubria)


While paradigms of person markers may be innovated and undergo certain
diachronic developments (e.g. loss of distinctions, analogical leveling,
etc.), a typologically larger variety of diachronic changes, possibly of a
more universal type (Bickel et al. 2015), occur in cases of individual
person markers. Based on large-scale approaches such as Helmbrecht (2004)
and Siewierska (2004) and a number of specific studies, we are now in a
position to tackle the beginnings of a diachronic typology of individual
person markers: which person markers change (or are innovated) how?

Innovative person forms may come from the domain of spatial deixis, nominal
expressions including generic nouns, demonstratives, or intensifiers
2004; Siewierska 2004; Heine and Song 2011). It has been relatively
well-documented how these sources give rise to independent pronouns, but we
know less about the pathways to bound person markers (but see cases of
spatial deixis, e.g., in Mithun (1996) and Konnerth (2015)).

The above-mentioned sources of person markers are often claimed based
solely on the identity or resemblance of forms. Studies that argue for
specific pathways with diachronic stages are still rare (but see Giacalone
Ramat and Sansò (2007); Bickel and Gaenszle (2015)). The variety of
different types of impersonal source constructions is of interest, as are
entirely different source constructions.

Morphosyntactic, semantic, or pragmatic properties of the verb or clause
type may correlate with changes of a particular (set of) person markers (Ariel
1998). Within future tense, desiderative modality or other intentionality
constructions, for example, different constructions may develop for first
person (singular) vs. all others (Helmbrecht 1999:291). A diachronic
typology of person markers will also need to examine how the
morphosyntactic properties of the resultant person marker relate to the
diachronic development: whether these are dependent vs. independent person
forms or different types of dependent forms; person forms encoding
S/A/O/R/T or subject vs. object; and so on.

Another type of diachronic development is the shift of one person form to
marking a different person value. This leads us to the question about what
constitutes a change. Extensions in using a person marker or other
expression for a different person value (“non-prototypical usage”) are
quite well-documented (e.g. Kitagawa and Lehrer 1990). But case studies of
the actual shift of one person form to marking another person value are
very rare (Lichtenberk 2005; Helmbrecht 2015). Although the synchronic
variation in person forms is a crucial component of a diachronic typology,
the discussion of this variation should remain tied to questions of
ultimate change. That is, e.g., how reconstructed synchronic variation in a
proto-language may have given rise to changes across different daughter
languages, or how changes result in synchronic variation in particular
modern languages, rather than replacing a single person form with a new
person form.

An emergent question becomes whether certain person forms are innovated
more frequently and through a larger variety of pathways than others, which
would lend these forms a higher diachronic salience. For example, Heine and
Song (2011) suggest that a larger variety of pathways lead to innovative
second person forms than to other forms of personal deixis. At the same
time, they find that the number distinction between 1sg and 1pl is
diachronically more relevant than that within second person. Besides first
and second person, inclusive forms may turn out to play a crucial role in
diachronic developments as they have a variety of honorific uses and may
display syncretisms with other SAP person forms (Cysouw 2005a, 2005b).

Sociolinguistic or sociopragmatic motivations for changes in SAP person
markers have been offered (Heath 1991, 1998; Bickel, Bisang, and Yādava
1999; DeLancey 2018), in particular also with respect to an elaborate
notion of politeness (Brown and Levinson 1987). In contrast, most
discussion of diachronic developments of third person forms revolves around
overt vs. zero expression, for example evoking principles of iconicity (Koch
1995) (but see the discussion in Bickel et al. (2015)).

Contributions to the theme session may address questions related to, but
not limited to, the following topics:

·        Sources for independent pronouns, for both independent pronouns
and bound person markers, or for bound person markers only

·        Diachronic pathways for the development of individual person
markers based on evidence from a single language or comparative evidence

·        Motivations for these types of developments

·        Differences between developments that change the paradigmatic
system of the particular set of person forms (introducing, losing, or
merging forms) and those that do not

·        Morphosyntactic/semantic/pragmatic properties of the verb or the
clause that create the particular context within which a development occurs

·        Areal or phylogenetic clustering of particular pathways

Potential participants are invited to contact the convenors with an
expression of interest, consisting of a preliminary title and a short (max.
300 words) abstract:

linda.konnerth at mail.huji.ac.il

andrea.sanso at uninsubria.it

Deadline: 12 November 2018

Important dates

- Notification of inclusion of title in the theme session proposal: 15
November 2018.

- Notification of acceptance/rejection of the theme session proposal by the
ALT13 organizers: 25 November 2018.

- If our proposal is accepted, the theme session will be included in the
final call for papers (end of November 2018).


Ariel, Mira. 1998. “Three Grammaticalization Paths for the Development of
Person Verbal Agreement in Hebrew.” In *Discourse and Cognition: Bridging
the Gap*, edited by Jean-Pierre Koenig, 93–111. Stanford: CSLI.

Bickel, Balthasar, Walter Bisang, and Yogendra P. Yādava. 1999. “Face vs.
Empathy: The Social Foundation of Maithili Verb Agreement.” *Linguistics*
37 (3): 481–518.

Bickel, Balthasar, and Martin Gaenszle. 2015. “First Person Objects,
Antipassives, and the Political History of the Southern Kirant.” *Journal
of South Asian Languages and Linguistics* 2 (1): 63–86.

Bickel, Balthasar, Alena Witzlack-Makarevich, Taras Zakharko, and Giorgio
Iemmolo. 2015. “Exploring Diachronic Universals of Agreement: Alignment
Patterns and Zero Marking across Person Categories.” In *Agreement from a
Diachronic Perspective*, edited by Jürg Fleischer, Elisabeth Rieken, and
Paul Widmer, 29–52. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Brown, Penelope, and Stephen C. Levinson. 1987. *Politeness: Some
Universals in Language Usage*. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cysouw, Michael. 2005a. “A Typology of Honorific Uses of Clusivity.” In
Typology and Case Studies of the Inclusive Exclusive Distinction*, edited
by Elena Filimonova, 213–30. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

———. 2005b. “Syncretisms Involving Clusivity.” In *Clusivity: Typology and
Case Studies of the Inclusive Exclusive Distinction*, edited by Elena
Filimonova, 83–121. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

DeLancey, Scott. 2018. “Deictic and Sociopragmatic Effects in Tibeto-Burman
SAP Indexation.” In *Typological Hierarchies in Synchrony and Diachrony*,
edited by Sonia Cristofaro and Fernando Zúñiga, 343–76.

Giacalone Ramat, Anna, and Andrea Sansò. 2007. “The Spread and Decline of
Indefinite Man-Constructions in European Languages.” In *Europe and the
Mediterranean as Linguistic Areas: Convergencies from a Historical and
Typological Perspective*, edited by Paulo Ramat and Elisa Roma, 95–131.

Heath, Jeffrey. 1991. “Pragmatic Disguise in Pronominal-Affix Paradigms.”
In *Paradigms: The Economy of Inflection*, edited by Frans Plank, 75–89.
Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

———. 1998. “Pragmatic Skewing in 1↔ 2 Pronominal Combinations in Native
American Languages.” *International Journal of American Linguistics* 64
(2): 83–104.

Heine, Bernd, and Kyung-An Song. 2011. “On the Grammaticalization of
Personal Pronouns.” *Journal of Linguistics* 47 (3): 587–630.

Helmbrecht, Johannes. 1999. “The Typology of 1st Person Marking and Its
Cognitive Background.” In *Discourse Grammar and Typology: Papers in Honor
of John W. A. Verhaar*, edited by Werner Abraham, T. Givón, and Sandra A.
Thompson, 285–97. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

———. 2004. “Personal Pronouns-Form, Function, and Grammaticalization.”
Habilitation, Erfurt, Germany: University of Erfurt.

———. 2015. “A Typology of Non-Prototypical Uses of Personal Pronouns:
Synchrony and Diachrony.” *Journal of Pragmatics* 88: 176–189.

Kitagawa, Chisato, and Adrienne Lehrer. 1990. “Impersonal Uses of Personal
Pronouns.” *Journal of Pragmatics* 14 (5): 739–59.

Koch, Harold. 1995. “The Creation of Morphological Zeroes.” In *Yearbook of
Morphology 1994*, edited by Geert E. Booij, 31–71. Dordrecht / Provide, RI:

Konnerth, Linda. 2015. “A New Type of Convergence at the Deictic Center:
Second Person and Cislocative in Karbi (Tibeto-Burman).” *Studies in
Language* 39 (1): 24–45.

Lichtenberk, Frantisek. 2005. “Inclusive-Exclusive in Austronesian.”
In *Clusivity:
Typology and Case Studies of Inclusive-Exclusive Distinction*, edited by
Elena Filimonova, 261–89. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Mithun, Marianne. 1996. “New Directions in Referentiality.” In *Studies in
Anaphora*, edited by Barbara Fox, 33:413–35. Typological Studies in
Language. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Siewierska, Anna. 2004. *Person*. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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