[Lingtyp] Literature on restrictive markers

Bastian Persohn persohn.linguistics at gmail.com
Tue Jun 22 10:54:51 UTC 2021

Dear community,

I am looking for literature on restrictive (‚only, just‘) markers.

As shown in (1a–d) for Kewa (Nuclear Trans New Guinea > Enga-Kewa-Huli) pa, the type of marker I have in mind is often highly polyfunctional.

a. Pa piru aa-lua koe le sa pi
RSTR stay stand.DUR-1SG:FUT bad thing put sit:PRS:1SG
‘(If) I don’t say something (lit: just stay) I have put something valueless.’ (Yarapea 2006: 311–312) 

b. Oro kóko na-re-a pare pa ogépú kegaapú pe-a
really cold NEG-emit-PRS:3SG but RSTR little hot do-PRS.3SG
‘It is not really cold but (rather) just a little bit hot.’ (Franklin 1971: 116) 

c. Context: about raising pigs.
Sapi adaa-ai pa maa ne-a robo-re ora  adaa-ai popa a-ya
sweet_potato big-nom RSTR take eat-PRS:3SG when-TOP really big-NOM come stand-PRS:3SG
‘When it takes a sweet potato which is a big one and eats it (without much effort), it really becomes a big one.’ (Yarapea 2006: 286) 

d. Context: Relating about clan history.
Paga Waimi-lopo-re koma-pe. Kodopea-re pa pi-a. Ee, Oge-re komi-sa-yaa.
‘Paga and Waimi died. Kodopea is still alive. Yes, Oge was reported to have died.’ (Yarapea 2006: 345) 

I’m mostly interested in cross-linguistic work. I have a suspicion that this type of marker is very common in Papunesia and perhaps Australia,
and I am sure people much more well versed In the languages of these macro-areas have written about this.

Pointers to in-depth descriptions of individual markers will also be appreciated. The most detailed description that I am aware of is found
in Sarvasy’s (2017) grammar of Nungon (Nuclear Trans New Guinea > Finisterre-Huon), Other insightful discussions that I know of are found in
Döhler’s (2018) grammar of Komnzo (Yam) and Heath’s (1984) grammar of Wubuy (Gunwinyguan). I’m sure there are many more that I just
have not yet stumbled across.

Thank you all very much in advance!


Döhler, Christian. 2018. A grammar of Komnzo. Berlin: Language Science Press.
Franklin, Karl J. 1971. A grammar of Kewa, New Guinea. Canberra: Research School of Pacific & Asian Studies, Australian National University.
Sarvasy, Hannah S. 2017. A grammar of Nungon: A Papuan language of Northeast New Guinea. Leiden: Brill. 
Yarapea, Apoi Mason. 2006. Morphosyntax of Kewapi. Canberra: ANU PhD thesis. 
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