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Re: Edible and Drinkable Pronouns?

From:ROGER MILLS <rfmilly@...>
Date:Thursday, July 5, 2007, 0:10
Replying to Jeff Rollin:

I'm coming in late on this, as I sift through several hundred

You're right-- Fijian and _some_ other Melanesian languages IIRC have this
4-way distinction. AFAIK it did not carry over into the Polynesian langs.
(descended, it is believed, from a "Fiji-PN" stage"). And AFAIK, there is
just one regional lang. of Indonesia that has it too-- Selaru, spoken in the
Tanimbar archipelago (far east Indonesia).

Many langs. of eastern Indonesia (Moluccas and Lesser Sundas) have an
alienable-inalienable distinction, where the inaliens. take a suffix (with
or without a preceding personal pronoun, as in Kisar yau amu /yau ama+u/ I
father-my 'my father' while the aliens. take pers.pronoun + poss.particle +
suffix + Noun (as Kisar ai nina kuda /ai ni/na kuda/ he part-his horse 'his
horse'.  This is pretty much parallel to the Polynesian procedure I think.

Another odd language of E.Indonesia does have a generic suffix-- Atoni
(Timorese) of Timor:
ate-k, ate-m, ate-n 'my/your/his liver' vs. ate-f ' liver in general' (that
-f is inexplicable historically). Whether Tim. would use the -f suffix in "a
head lying in the road" I know not, and suspect they'd have to say
"someone's head".