[Lingtyp] addressing the daughter as Mummy

Alan Rumsey Alan.Rumsey at anu.edu.au
Wed Sep 9 12:35:32 UTC 2020

Sorry for the delay in my uptake of this thread, which hadn’t come to my attention till today. The so-called ‘address inversion’ is indeed an interesting phenomenon, which is very widespread, as shown by the postings so far, and by the discussion in Braun 1988, which attests to its existence in Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Persian, Romanian, Russian, Tok Pisin, and Turkish. I have written about it in the Papuan language Ku Waru in a forthcoming publication that can be find online here<https://www.dropbox.com/s/99udauo9zz82ilj/Rumsey%20%20-%20EE%20%26%20Centering%20of%20subjectivity%20-%20Feb%202019.pdf?dl=0> (pp. 13-16). One of the points I make there is that the term “address inversion” is actually a

misnomer, since, in great majority of attested practices of this kind, there is actually not a full inversion. That is, while the senior party uses the term for the junior one that the latter uses for him or her, the junior party does not change his or her usage in the opposite direction.


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