[Lingtyp] undifferentiated interrogative words

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Sat Aug 15 01:35:58 UTC 2020


In Khumi (Tibeto-Burman) there are three interrogative words whose 
meanings correspond to 'who', 'what' and basically everything else.  
(Data from David Peterson p.c.)


On 11/08/2020 21:47, Peter Arkadiev wrote:
> Dear typologists,
> as is well-known, there are many languages lacking a distinction between "animate" and "inanimate" interrogative words (see the doctoral dissertation by Dmitry Idiatov), e.g. Lithuanian "kas" means both 'who' and 'what'. I am wondering if there are any languages where interrogative words don't distinguish between such ontological categories as "place", "time" and "manner", e.g. have a single interrogative word which, depending on the context, can mean "when", "where", "how" and the like.
> Many thanks in advance and best regards,
> Peter
> Idiatov, Dmitry. 2007. A Typology of Non-Selective Interrogative Pronominals. PhD Dissertation, Universiteit Antwerpen.
> -- 
> Peter Arkadiev, PhD Hab.
> Institute of Slavic Studies
> Russian Academy of Sciences
> Leninsky prospekt 32-A 119334 Moscow
> peterarkadiev at yandex.ru
> http://inslav.ru/people/arkadev-petr-mihaylovich-peter-arkadiev
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David Gil
Senior Scientist (Associate)
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
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