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Re: Fourth Persons

From:Aidan Grey <taalenmaple@...>
Date:Thursday, September 4, 2008, 3:24
According to Wikipedia, Ojibwe has both Indefinite and Obviative:

----- Original Message ----
From: Aidan Grey <taalenmaple@...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 8:45:46 PM
Subject: Re: Fourth Persons

Heya! I can't figure out how to do interlinear commentary, so you'll get it all up
here. Sorry if that's confusing...

On Obviative - I was mistaken / confused. There's just the one use. The only
variation is how obviation is applied (homans are more likely to be proximal
than obviative, over animals and so on) and on what level it applies (sentence
or discourse level). It's used in Algonquian languages, Wappo, and Northern
Pomo, among others - the last two of which are non-HAS non-Inversion langs, if
my resources (incomplete as they are) are correct.

I know I've read about a couple langs that have indefinites AND obviatives, but
since I just read through "Languages of Native North America" twice, I can't
find or remember where it was...

After the email, I read through the relevant bits in LoNNA again, and Central Pomo
uses an empathetic pronoun in both logophoric (reporting) and long-distance
refelxive contexts. At least, if I understood it all correctly, it does. Other
Pomoan langs and the nearby Wappo (again) do to. Looks like Pomoan langs can do
everything, though not necessarily with the same pronoun.

To be honest, to me, I'm not sure that some of these distinctions really are
there. That is, it seems to me that Logoporic and long-distance reflexives
could easily be extensions of one another, and don't seem all that necessarily
separate morphological processes. Same goes for Obviative and LDRs.

I'll say though that I'm VERY far from being an expert on these, and I could be wrong.


----- Original Message ----
From: Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 12:01:06 PM
Subject: Re: Fourth Persons

On Tue, 2 Sep 2008 10:50:28 -0700, Aidan Grey <taalenmaple@...>
>The Obviative isn't limited to HAS or Direct/Inverse systems. It can appear in >almost any language.
Thanks. I knew that Hierarchical Alignment languages and Direct/Inverse Voice languages are not co-extensive. Now I also know that obviatives can appear in other languages. But the name "obviative" comes from the fact that it "obviates" confusion in bivalent clauses with both participants animate third-person in such languages.
>You also have to be clear exactly what you mean by Obviative - there are a >number of uses/definitions, IIRC.
What are some of the other uses and definitions?
>If it's just "other third persons", it's pretty common in Native American >languages, used for non-focus arguments. For example, in a tale about >Coyote, every third person other than Coyote would be in the 4th. That's >one use, anyway.
Which non-Hierarchical non-Direct/Inverse North American languages does it have such a use in?
>The "indefinite" combined with the Obviative is pretty common.
Thanks. I didn't know that, and that answers one of my questions. What are some languages that have both the obviative and the indefinite- person?
>I don't know what you mean in #3 and 4, so I can't speak to that.
If you want to know I can tell you. Logophoric Pronouns are so named because in certain African languages when you are reporting speech, you have two extra third-person pronouns, one for the person whose speech you are reporting ("logophoric first person"), and one for the person who was originally addressed ("logophoric second person"). Long-Distance Reflexives can co-refer to the _Subject_ of _any_ containing clause. Some reflexives can co-refer to any _clause-mate_ higher in the Noun-Phrase Accessibility Hierarchy (Subj > (Dir)Obj > IndObj > Obl > Possessor > Obj of Comparison) that has previously been mentioned; but cannot co-refer to anything outside their own clause. That is, for instance, such a reflexive in a subordinate clause cannot refer to a participant in its matrix clause nor in the main clause; but if it's in the IO position it can refer to the DO, or if it's in an Oblique position it can refer to the DO or the IO; (that is it's not restricted to referring to the Subject). Long-Distance Reflexives, OTOH, can refer to the subject of the matrix clause, of the matrix's matrix, ..., up to the subject of the main clause; even if the clause the LDR actually occurs in, is very deeply embedded.
Thanks, Aidan.