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Re: Articles and the Givenness Hierarchy

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 3, 2005, 5:16
Further... How Kash and Indonesian do these:
> The givenness hierarchy is as follows (going from least to > greatest): > > 1. Type Identifiable > 2. Referential > 3. Uniquely Identifiable > 4. Familiar > 5. Activated > 6. In Focus > > > 1. Type Identifiable: An NP is type identifiable if it's brand new > information. Pretty much, you just have to know what it is. > > English: a(n) NP > Example: I saw a bird.
Kash: 0. matikas tukrim Indo: 0 saya melihat burung (Neither S is marked for tense; that's OK in Kash, in Indo. I'd feel more comfortable using a time-word like dulu 'earlier' or tadi 'just a while ago')
> > 2. Referential: This is a reference to indefinite NP, but the > hearer is supposed to understand that it's going to be the new > topic of conversation, and that for the speaker, the entity is > specified. > > English: this NP > Example: I met this great guy yesterday.
Kash: 0. koprat matinja kaç ('person') or kaçut ('man')-- if you used tayu 'this' it would suggest the man were present. It definitely calls for more explanatory material. Indo: not sure, but I think 0; and with _ini_ 'this', the same caveat as for Kash.; there may be a colloquial way. If it were a bird, possibly: kemaren saya melihat seekor burung (seekor 'one-tail' the counter for birds; it specifies _one_, so would be more definite than just "..melihat burung") BTW I don't agree that "I met a great guy..." is any more def/indef. than "...this great guy"; to me they're equivalent.
> > 3. Uniquely Identifiable: The hearer can identify the referent > just by hearing the NP. > English: the NP > Example: I saw the bird. >
Kash: matikas tukrim iyu (main S stress on tuk-; iyu 'that; the') also: ...tukriñi (tukrim+ni '3poss.') if the bird is topic of the discourse. Indo: ...melihat burung itu (itu 'that'; the') also: ...melihat burungnya (-nya 3poss.) as in Kash. (Both S's might sound better with the perfective marker, mende/sudah resp., but it's not necessary) In Kash, S stress on íyu would mean '_that_ (specific) bird' In Indo., for this meaning, you could either stress itu more heavily, or relativize it: ...burung yang itu
> > 4. Familiar: An NP is, to a certain extent, in the hearer's long > term memory. > English: that NP > Example: That dog kept me awake last night.
Kash would probably use iyu; Indo. itu; yes, this assumes the hearer already knows from prior experience what you're referring to.
> > 5. Activated: An NP is in the hearer's short term memory. > > English: that, this, this NP > Example: I saw that.
Kash: matikas (more correctly _yu matikas_ but the neut. obj.pronoun can always be omitted if context is clear. An anim.pron. could too, but only in casual speech I think. Indo: saya (sudah or other time-word) melihat itu. You can also say: saya (..) melihatnya (using the 3poss. sfx as an obj. suffix-- I'm not sure how colloquial that is, however) And in both cases, also a NP with deictic.
> > 6. In Focus: This is as prominent and relevant as an NP can > be--it's "on stage". > > English: pronouns > Example: It's on the table.
(Obviously this presupposes the question: "Where's the/my....?" Kash: 0 -- ri laca ~ri nihiñi laca (on top of...); you could start with _yale_ 'it is' but it's not necessary. Indo: 0 -- di atas meja (on top of...). (Similarly, you could start with _ada_ 'it is; there is' but I suspect that a westernized thing). Note that it's not necessary in Kash to mark 'table' as definite; likewise in Indo. I think. However, if there were several tables in the place, you might have to: ...laca yu, ...meja itu '_that_ table'
> Additionally, with this basic framework, you can also modify > it. This shouldn't be taken as *the* hierarchy, in my opinion > (especially since, of all of the languages they sampled, *only* > English had a separate lexical entry for each of the six categories.
Right-- I have a sneaky feeling it's missing something (or I'm missing something in Kash)...Very interesting food for thought.