[Lingtyp] Pronominalised proper names in Old Tamil
linjr at cc.au.dk
Mon Mar 25 13:01:46 UTC 2019
“Then there's Nama, which also productively marks NPs for person, though my notes don't specify whether this includes also proper names. You could look at pp. 41-45 of the following reference (which unfortunately I don't have access to right now): Hagman, Roy S. (1977) Nama Hottentot Grammar, Indiana University Press, Bloomington.
You may also want to have a look at PNG markers in Alamblak (also discussed on pp. 83-84 in my 2004 NP book, together with Nama Hottentot):
Bruce, Les. 1984. The Alamblak language of Papua New Guinea (East Sepik) (Pacific Linguistics C–81). Canberra: The Australian National University.
From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of David Gil <gil at shh.mpg.de>
Date: Monday, 25 March 2019 at 13.48
To: "lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org" <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Pronominalised proper names in Old Tamil
Several years ago I was looking cross-linguistically at constructions which would seem to overlap with the kind of construction that you are interested in. Unfortunately I got bogged down in definitional matters and abandoned the topic. But here are some data that might be relevant.
In Papuan Malay, any NP, including proper names, can be marked for person (1st, 2nd or 3rd) and number. (There is no gender in Papuan Malay.) The NP can occur in any position in the sentence. For example
(1) sa lia Niko ko di pasar
1SG see Niko 2SG in market
'I saw you/Niko in the market'
The above meets your requirement for person marking but not for agreement. Now Papuan Malay also has a construction which might be characterized as optional incipient subject-verb agreement. So putting that together with person marking on a proper name in subject position, you get constructions such as the following:
(2) Niko ko kelemarin ko lia sa di pasar
Niko 2SG yesterday 2SG see 1SG in market
'You/Niko yesterday saw me in the market'
This is now like what you're looking for, except that I would characterize the subject NP "Niko ko" as the controller of agreement and the verbal complex "ko lia" as its target, which seems to be the opposite of what you describe for Tamil (though the difference could be terminological).
Papuan Malay is alone amongst Malay/Indonesian dialects in having this construction, and it is a clear calque on similar constructions that are available in some of the local languages of West Papua — if you're interested I could try and dig up some data (though when I was working on this, I wasn't concerned specifically with proper names).
Outside New Guinea, you might take a look at Classical Nahuatl:
Andrews, J. Richard. 1975. Introduction to Classical Nahuatl. Austin: U of Texas Press.
where person-marked proper names are reported (p.193), though I wouldn't know about agreement patterns.
Then there's Nama, which also productively marks NPs for person, though my notes don't specify whether this includes also proper names. You could look at pp. 41-45 of the following reference (which unfortunately I don't have access to right now):
Hagman, Roy S. (1977) Nama Hottentot Grammar, Indiana University Press, Bloomington.
On 25/03/2019 13:18, Samia Naïm wrote:
I am relaying to Dr Appasamy Murugaiyan (a.murugaiyan at wanadoo.fr<mailto:a.murugaiyan at wanadoo.fr>), a specialist of Old Tamil (EPHE-UMR 7528 Mondes iranien et indien), who is interested in the languages where the proper names take PNG markers and agree with the predicate.
Here is his request :
« Pronominalised proper names in Old Tamil»
In Dravidian languages, particularly in OlD Tamil, a special construction known under different terms such as “Pronominalised Noun, Participial Noun, Appellative Verb, Conjugated Noun, Personal noun” is used. From a historical perspective. This pronominalised noun (PNN) is formed by affixing the Person Number and Gender (PNG) marker to any stem (STEM + PNG). These PNN forms in 1st, 2nd and 3rd persons are attested in many Classical Tamil verses with distinctive grammatical functions as argument or predicate. Whereas, in Modern Tamil the PNN forms as occurred in 1st and 2nd person nouns have almost fallen into disuse and those in 3rd person, though are in use, this, however, tends to be generalised and lost their Person distinction. On the contrary, in Tamil inscriptions ((9th to 12th Century CE) the PNN seem to be frequently used. A detailed analysis of the data from the inscriptional Tamil reveals not only that PNN are used in wider grammatical contexts and preserve their multifunctionality, they also found to exhibit a unique feature where, the proper names are pronominalized. The pronominalisation of proper names is not at all attested in other corpus of Tamil.
In Tamil, the bare form of proper names, with out any marker added, are difinite and 3rd person singular names.
Peter koḍu.tt.āṉ ‘Peter gave’
In modern Tamil to say « I, Pater, gave » a eriphrastic construction is used:
Peter ākiya nāṉ koḍu.tt.ēṉ
Pater be.ADJP I give.past.1s
ADJP = Adjectival participle
But in the the Tamil epgraphic corpus (9th to 12th Century CE), the proper name is prominalised and agrees with the verb. This construction is not noticed or 2nd and 3rd persons.
This construction « proper name+PNG », is noticed only in Tamil epigraphic texts and I think it is an innovation.
This type of pronominalisation is noticed in Elamit. DAVID W. McALPIN, Proto- Elamo- Dravidian: The Evidence and its Implications 1981, THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY.
The comparison proposed by David McAlpin is mainly based on the pronominalisation construction shown above.
The question is: Are there other languages wher the proper names take PNG markers and agree with the predicate or for any other syntactic reasons.
Thanks and Best regards
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Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
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Email: gil at shh.mpg.de<mailto:gil at shh.mpg.de>
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