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Nominal, pronominal, and verbal number in Balinese

  • I Wayan Arka and Mary Dalrymple EMAIL logo
From the journal Linguistic Typology


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.


For helpful comments and feedback, thanks to audiences at APLL7 at SOAS, London, May 2014; Emmonfest, June 2014, Frankfurt; the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, April 2015; and the University of Malaya, February 2017. We are especially grateful to Peter Austin, Emmon Bach, Francis Bond, Greg Carlson, Polly Jacobson, Fred Landman, Ratih Oktarini, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments.

We dedicate this article to the memory of Emmon Bach (1929–2014).



1st/2nd/3rd person;






actor voice;












full reduplication;








nasal ligature;




middle voice;








partial reduplication;


















relative marker;




undergoer voice

Reduplicated sequences are explicitly glossed as redup, occasionally distinguishing full reduplication (fullredup) from partial reduplication (partredup).


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Received: 2016-5-8
Revised: 2017-6-30
Published Online: 2017-10-13
Published in Print: 2017-10-26

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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