Nominal, pronominal, and verbal number in Balinese

  • 1 Department of Linguistics, School of Culture, History & Language, The Australian National University, ACT 0200, Canberra, Australia
  • 2 Fakultas Ilmu Budaya, Universitas Udayana, Denpasar, Indonesia
  • 3 Faculty of Linguistics, University of Oxford, OX1 2HG, Oxford, United Kingdom
I Wayan Arka
  • Department of Linguistics, School of Culture, History & Language, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
  • Fakultas Ilmu Budaya, Universitas Udayana, Denpasar, Indonesia
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and Mary Dalrymple


We examine the morphology, syntax, and semantics of number in Balinese. All Balinese pronouns are singular, and non-reduplicated common nouns have general number. Regular and associative plural constructions allow for expression of nominal plurality. Common nouns can also be reduplicated, which often (but not always) indicates plural meaning. In the verbal domain, reduplication generally marks pluractionality. We show that reduplication is a derivational process which can imply rather than encode plural meaning. We also explore parallels between nominal and verbal plurality, examining inclusive/exclusive plural readings in nominal and verbal domains, and associative pluractionality in the verbal domain.

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Linguistic Typology publishes research on linguistic diversity and unity. It welcomes articles that report empirical findings about crosslinguistic variation, advance our understanding of the patterns of diversity, or refine typological methodology.