[Lingtyp] Lingtyp Digest , Vol. 80, Issue 26, topic 1
loebner at hhu.de
Thu May 27 21:58:46 UTC 2021
[I'm new to the list and do not know if this is the right way to
participate in the discussion]
I don't know if this answers the question:
Japanese has four distributive pronouns/adverbs which can be used either
as distributivity adverbs, like 'each' in adverbial position ('the kids
each were tested for corona'), and as distributive pronouns, again like
English 'each'. They all have reduplication morphology: sorezore,
menmen, meimei, onoono (S. E. Martin, A Reference Grammar of Japanese,
Yale UP, 1975, p. 1077 and elsewhere).
You can have 'sorezore no N' meaning something like 'each's N'. The
source of 'sorezore' is the medial deictic nominal pronoun 'sore'.
Japanese doesn't have plural marking on N. Thus the N in 'sorezore no N'
is number-neutral. The construction can express distributive possession
for either single "Ns" or groups of "Ns".
The distributive genitive construction ist probably possible with a
topic that denotes the totality to be distributed over. I think (I'm not
a native speaker) that you can say things like
kodomo wa sorezore no N ...
'child TOP each GEN N ...'
If this is correct, there seems to be a general way to express
distributive possession. I do not know which of the four distributives
can refer to what kind of object. 'menmen' seems to be restricted to
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