[Lingtyp] Verb-like nominal inflection

NAM Deokhyun devon_coast373 at toki.waseda.jp
Tue Jul 21 23:20:06 UTC 2020

Dear Ian and all,

Isn't it possible to interpret that yo- in Ian's example of Galela is used
either as an S/A bound pronoun or as a possessor bound pronoun? In Ainu as
well, for example, S/A bound pronouns and possessor bound pronouns have an
identical paradigm:

k-ek (1SG-come) 'I come'
k-aki (1SG-younger brother) 'my younger brother'
e-ek (2SG-come) 'you come'
e-aki (2SG-younger brother) 'your younger brother'

Other languages in which a (partially or wholly) identical paradigm is used
for S/A bound pronouns and possessor bound pronouns are discussed in
Dixon(Basic Linguistic Theory vol.2, 2010, Oxford University Press)'s
chapter on possession, according to which it seems to be a
cross-linguistically common phenomenon.

So, it seems to me that the syncretism may lie in bound pronouns rather
than in words in such cases (their meanings are distinct: subject (or
object) and possessor, if they have an identical form).

A recent discussion about the class flexibility of noun and verb is found
in "Morphology in Typology" by Johanna Nichols (In: The Cambridge Handbook
of Morphology, 2016, Cambridge University Press, 710-742), with a lot of


2020年7月22日(水) 6:07 David Gil <gil at shh.mpg.de>:

> I'm glad Mark brought the parts of speech question up.
> There's no good reason to believe that *bahasa*, a loan into Galela from
> the local Ternate dialect of Malay, is particularly nouny in its
> (immediate) source language either.  I just looked through our large
> Ternate Malay corpus (compiled by Betty Litamahuputty and freely accessible
> online), and if you insist on distinguishing nouns from verbs in Ternate
> Malay, well there are some examples of *bahasa *that look nouny but
> others that look verby, such as the following:
> kong de bahasa Tidore kong de mangamuk
> CONJ 3SG language Tidore CONJ 3SG ACT:amok
> 'She speaks Tidore and goes amok'
> In other examples, bahasa may occur with the "medial verbal" prefix *ber-*
> and with the reciprocal marker *baku*.
> David
> On 21/07/2020 23:46, Mark Donohue wrote:
> Why do we think that *bahasa* and *bobapo*, in Galela, are nouns?
> Based on the evidence, they're not.
> (Not saying that they're verbs, just that, if nouns are "things that don't
> behave like verbs", as is implied in the question, then *bahasa* and
> *bobapo* aren't nouns, in Galela.
> -Mark
> On Wed, 22 Jul 2020 at 01:10, Joo, Ian <joo at shh.mpg.de> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> In Galela (West Papuan), nouns can be inflected like verbs, as
>> illustrated below:
>> I would like to know if this is a cross-linguistically common phenomenon,
>> and if so, what other languages show similar patterns.
>> From Hong Kong,
>> Ian
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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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