[Lingtyp] additive markers and indicative markers
gil at shh.mpg.de
Thu Mar 18 00:35:52 UTC 2021
Dear Juergen (and all),
If I understand your claim correctly, then you seem to be predicting
that indefinite NPs, where number is less redundant, are more likely to
exhibit grammatical number marking than are definite NPs, in which
number marking is more redundant and therefore does not need to be
overtly marked. If this is (part of) what you're saying, then this
would seem to run counter to my own observations from Mandarin,
Singaporean Malay, and Singlish, suggesting that definite NPs are more
likely to be marked for number than indefinite ones:
Gil, David (2003) "English Goes Asian; Number and (In)definiteness in
the Singlish Noun-Phrase", in F. Plank ed., /Noun Phrase Structure in
the Languages of Europe,/ Empirical Approaches to Language Typology,
Eurotyp 20-7, Mouton, Berlin and New York, 467-514.
On 17/03/2021 23:43, Bohnemeyer, Juergen wrote:
> Dear Chenlei Zhou — I’ve been working on a typology that contrasts ‘discourse-prominent’ vs. inherently backgrounded functional expressions, loosely based on Boye & Harder (2012). I maintain that inherently backgrounded functional expressions such as the plural marker in your examples are always to some degree redundant, in the sense that they are not strictly needed for enabling the hearer to infer the intended message. I would agree that there’s a difference in redundancy/predictability between your examples, but it is a matter of degree. For example:
> (1) Six teachers came in
> (2) The teachers came in
> (3) (Some) teachers came in / In came (some) teachers
> I would argue that the plural is most redundant in (1) and most informative in (3). In terms of typological distribution, my account predicts that discourse-prominent functional expressions (discourse prominence also being a matter of degree, just like backgrounding) are typologically distributed near-universally, i.e., every “all-purpose” language has (compositional or non-compositional) expressions of their meanings. In contrast, inherently backgrounded functional expressions are typologically more variable, because their primary function is to facilitate the hearer’s comprehension. More specifically, I predict the extent of typological variability to be proportional to the degree of backgrounding. Thus, nominal number marking is attested in 96% of the 378 WALS genera that represent the union of the samples of Dryer (2013a) and Haspelmath (2013) and in 93% of APiCS languages, whereas definiteness marking is attested in 69% of the 262 WALS genera of Dryer (2013b) and 75% of APiCS languages and subject case marking occurs in 38% of the 171 WALS genera of Baerman & Brown (2013) and in 20% of APiCS languages. This suggests the following cline:
> Least most
> redundant/ nominal number <> definiteness <> subject case redundant/
> metalinguistic metalinguistic
> Intuitively, this seems to be born out.
> I haven’t published anything (I’m working on a book), but you can download the slides of a recent talk here:
> Best — Juergen
> Baerman, Matthew, & Dunstan Brown. 2013. Case Syncretism. In: Dryer, Matthew S. & Haspelmath, Martin (eds.) The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
> (Available online at http://wals.info/chapter/28, Accessed on 2021-03-17.)
> Boye, K. & P. Harder. (2012). A usage-based theory of grammaticalization and grammatical status. Language 88(1): 1-44.
> Dryer, Matthew S. 2013a. Coding of Nominal Plurality. In: Dryer, Matthew S. & Haspelmath, Martin (eds.) The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
> (Available online at http://wals.info/chapter/33, Accessed on 2021-03-17.)
> Dryer, Matthew S. 2013b. Definite Articles. In: Dryer, Matthew S. & Haspelmath, Martin (eds.) The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
> (Available online at http://wals.info/chapter/37, Accessed on 2021-03-17.)
> Haspelmath, Martin. 2013. Occurrence of Nominal Plurality. In: Dryer, Matthew S. & Haspelmath, Martin (eds.) The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
> (Available online at http://wals.info/chapter/34, Accessed on 2021-03-17.)
>> On Mar 17, 2021, at 11:45 AM, 周晨磊 <zhouchenlei at 126.com> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> As you know, a grammatical marker is considered to mark some syntactic/ semantic information, e.g., an aspect marker marks the aspectual information and a case marker is used to mark the relation between the marked noun and the verb or another noun. This understanding of marker is well accepted. But thinking further, we see that there may be two different types of markers, which we would like to term the "additive marker" and "indicative marker".
>> Additive markers are consistent with our general understanding of "markers". That is, the marker adds some information that is lack in the original context. For example, the -ed in English adds the past tense information to the verb. Indicative markers, to the best of my knowledge, however, are not fully recognized in the literature. An indicative marker is the marker that indicates the information that already exists in the original context. For example, the Chinese passive marker bei in shui bei wo he le water PASS I drink pfv 'The water was drank by me' could be treated as an indicative marker in this specific context because the passive relation between "water" and "drink" already exists even without the aid of bei. In this situation, bei is used to indicate the existed passive relation.
>> Our preliminary study shows that there is no clear boundary between additive markers and indicative markers, and the two can be transformed in certain contexts. For example, English plural marker -s can be either additive or indicative. In "the teachers came in" (vs. "the teacher came in" ), -s is additive; but in "six teachers", since the plural meaning has already existed in the numeral "six", -s is indicative.
>> I was wondering if you think it makes sense to distinguish these two types of markers in typological study and if you are aware of any research that has explored this issue.
>> Thank you very much in advance.
>> Best wishes,
>> Zhou, Chenlei
>> Dept. of Syntax & Semantics,
>> Institute of Linguistics,
>> Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
>> #5 Jianguomennei Street, Beijing, 100732, P.R.China
>> Lingtyp mailing list
>> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Senior Scientist (Associate)
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Mobile Phone (Israel): +972-526117713
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81344082091
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Lingtyp