Re: THEORY: The fourth person
|From:||Tamas Racsko <tracsko@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, April 28, 2004, 5:19|
On 26 Apr 2004 Danny Wier <dawiertx@...> wrote:
> How exactly does the so-called 'fourth person' work in Athabaskan
> languages like Navajo (Dine)?
I have a Mojave example pair: "n'a.isvar.k i:ma.k" 'when he/she
sang and he/she [the same person] danced' vs. "n'a.isvar.m i:ma.k"
'when one sang and someone else danced'.
In the first sentence, there are the same 3rd person marker "-k"
on both verbs, because both have the same subjects. In the second
example personal markers ("-m" and "-k") differs because the
subjects aren't the same. Stricly speaking, 4rd person is a 3rd
person agent that is not the same as the previously referred 3rd
Another example, Cree "-api-" 'to be at home': "api.w" 'he/she
[3rd person] is at home' vs. "api.jiwa" 'someone else [4nd person]
is at home'
> and do any other languages have it
As far I know it's an Amerind feature, but it exists in another
Amerind phyla, e.g. Algonquin and certain Penutian (Maidu)
languages have it.
However, the 4th person is only one of the possible instances of
the obviative concept. Another instance can be found in Slavic
languages. In these languages the possessive adjectives/pronouns
have obviative form. E.g. Russian "on chital svoyu knigu" 'he read
his [own] book' vs. "on chital yego knigu" 'he read his [someone
else's] book', where "svoy" is the 3rd person possessive adjective
and "yego" is the masculine obviative (or "4th person") one.