[Lingtyp] additive markers and indicative markers
jb77 at buffalo.edu
Thu Mar 18 02:24:31 UTC 2021
I just discovered that the link I posted was to an earlier version of my slides. Let’s try again:
Sorry! — Juergen
> On Mar 17, 2021, at 5:43 PM, Bohnemeyer, Juergen <jb77 at buffalo.edu> 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
> Juergen Bohnemeyer (He/Him)
> Professor, Department of Linguistics
> University at Buffalo
> Office: 642 Baldy Hall, UB North Campus
> Mailing address: 609 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260
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> Email: jb77 at buffalo.edu
> Web: http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~jb77/
> Office hours will be held by Zoom. Email me to schedule a call at any time. I will in addition hold Tu/Th 4-5pm open specifically for remote office hours.
> There’s A Crack In Everything - That’s How The Light Gets In
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Juergen Bohnemeyer (He/Him)
Professor, Department of Linguistics
University at Buffalo
Office: 642 Baldy Hall, UB North Campus
Mailing address: 609 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260
Phone: (716) 645 0127
Fax: (716) 645 3825
Email: jb77 at buffalo.edu
Office hours will be held by Zoom. Email me to schedule a call at any time. I will in addition hold Tu/Th 4-5pm open specifically for remote office hours.
There’s A Crack In Everything - That’s How The Light Gets In
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