[Lingtyp] Query re anaphoric object pronouns

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Mon Dec 16 14:33:57 UTC 2019


Malay/Indonesian and Tagalog are in the Mandarin category: object 
pronouns are unbound and optional.

But Hebrew may fall into the English/German category.  So for your 
dialog ...

Ken, pagašti ota bamiznon
yes, meet.PST.1SG ACC.3SGF LOC:DEF:cafeteria

Can the object pronoun "ota" be omitted?  To me it sounds bad, albeit 
not quite as bad as the corresponding English construction.  Maybe other 
speakers of Hebrew can weigh in with their judgements.

(Of course, typologically Hebrew is rather European ...)


PS I note with interest that your proposed universal implication seems 
to require recourse to a comparative category of word ...

On 16/12/2019 15:13, Haspelmath, Martin wrote:
> I have a question on 3rd person anaphoric pronouns in the world’s 
> languages. In many languages, these are optional when they refer to a 
> continuous topic, not only in subject (S/A) role, but also in object 
> (P) role. So we get patterns like the following:
> – Have you seen Lee today?
> – Yes, I met (her) in the cafeteria.
> I’m wondering if the following universal tendency is true:
> (U) In almost all languages, if the anaphoric object pronoun is 
> obligatory, it is a bound form (= a form that cannot occur on its own, 
> i.e. an affix or a clitic).
> Spanish and Arabic are examples of languages where the obligatory 
> anaphoric object forms are bound (clitic or affix). English and German 
> are exceptions to this generalization (and perhaps a few other 
> European languages as well).
> But are there many exceptions? According to Siewierska (2004: 43), 
> about two thirds of all languages (223 out of 378 in her WALS chapter 
> <https://wals.info/feature/102A>) have bound object person forms (= 
> object indexes), so the hypothesized universal tendency is a question 
> about those languages that lack object indexes, and have only 
> independent personal pronouns or demonstratives for object function. 
> Are there many among them which (like English) obligatorily require an 
> overt form in this function?
> Or are most of them like Mandarin Chinese, which according to 
> Wiedenhof (2015: §5.2.2) happily allows zero-anaphora sentences like 
> /Nǐ yào ma?/ [you want Q] ‘Do you want it?’
> I’m interested in all reports of languages outside of Europe which are 
> unlike Mandarin, and like English, in this respect.
> Many thanks,
> Martin
> -- 
> Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de)
> Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
> Kahlaische Strasse 10	
> D-07745 Jena
> &
> Leipzig University
> Institut fuer Anglistik
> IPF 141199
> D-04081 Leipzig
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