[Lingtyp] Affectionate or sympathy marking

brigitte.pakendorf at cnrs.fr brigitte.pakendorf at cnrs.fr
Thu Jan 12 19:33:24 UTC 2023

Dear Christian,


in addition to having numerous diminutive and augmentative morphemes, the Lamunkhin dialect of Even has 2 verbal suffixes that express compassion and/or endearment. 


See section 2.2.3 in Pakendorf (2017), Lamunkhin Even evaluative morphology in cross-linguistic comparison, Morphology 27:123–158 which you can find here:  <https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01960459v1> https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01960459v1. (If there’s a glitch with the link, let me know and I’ll send you the pdf-file.)








Directrice de recherche / Senior scientist

Dynamique Du Langage


CNRS & Université Lumière Lyon 2

14 avenue Berthelot

69007 Lyon




From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> On Behalf Of Christian Döhler
Sent: 12 January 2023 11:10
To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: [Lingtyp] Affectionate or sympathy marking


Dear colleagues,

I am looking for publications that address the difference between (1) and (2). In (2), the English adjective poor is used to signal the speaker's sympathy or affection towards the dog.

1.	The dog is waiting for its owner.
2.	The poor dog is waiting for its owner.

While English (and my native German) does this by extending the meaning of the adjective poor (and arm in German), other languages have special words with only that meaning. For example, Komnzo bana is a postposed adjective that only conveys sympathy. 

    ni bananzo namnzr karen.
    ni           bana=nzo        na\m/nzr                       kar=en
    1NSG    SYMP=only     1PL:NPST:IPFV/stay    village=LOC
    'Only we poor guys stay behind in the village' (subtext: 'while the others are going to the celebration in the neighbouring village')
    (NSG = non-singular, SYMP = sympathy marker, NPST = nonpast)

Yet other languages seem to have special verb morphology for this. Van Tongeren describes this for Suki (her PhD grammar will probably be available later this year).

Pointers to more examples and publications of this are most welcome. I was googling this with keywords like "sympathy", "empathy", "affection", but with not much luck. So there might be a whole literature on this phenomenon under different terminology. If that's the case, then please excuse my ignorance.

Very Best,

Dr. Christian Döhler
Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS)
Schützenstraße 18
10117 Berlin
Raum: 445
Tel.: +49 30 20192 412
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