Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Gast, Volker

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.066

CiteScore 2018: 0.97

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.384
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.409

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 51, Issue 1


Conditions on pronominal marking in the Alor-Pantar languages

Sebastian Fedden / Dunstan Brown / Greville Corbett / Gary Holton / Marian Klamer / Laura C. Robinson / Antoinette Schapper
Published Online: 2013-01-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2013-0002


We examine the varying role of conditions on grammatical relations marking (namely animacy and volitionality) by looking at different languages of one family, using both existing descriptions and working with specially prepared video stimuli. This enables us to see the degree of variation permitted within closely related languages. We look at four Alor-Pantar languages (Teiwa, Adang, Kamang, and Abui), Papuan languages of eastern Indonesia. The conditions on argument marking are manifested in different ways. Those languages with syntactic alignment index objects with a prefix, those which have semantic alignment index objects and some subjects with a prefix. In 42 video clips we systematically varied animacy and volitionality values for participants in one and two-participant events. These clips were used in fieldwork to elicit descriptions of the events. The data show that animacy of the object is an important factor which favours indexation of the object on the verb in all four languages to varying degrees. Volitionality, on the other hand, is a factor in the semantically aligned languages only. While the presence of a prefix on the verb is semantically motivated in many instances, marking is not directly determined by verbal or participant semantics, and lexical factors must also play a role.

Keywords: alignment; animacy; grammatical relations; Papuan; pronominal indexing

About the article

Surrey Morphology Group, School of English and Languages, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, United Kingdom

Published Online: 2013-01-05

Published in Print: 2013-01-04

Citation Information: , Volume 51, Issue 1, Pages 33–74, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2013-0002.

Export Citation

©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Don Daniels, Danielle Barth, and Wolfgang Barth
Journal of Historical Linguistics, 2019, Volume 9, Number 1, Page 92
Marlou van Rijn
Folia Linguistica, 2016, Volume 50, Number 1
Sebastian Fedden, Dunstan Brown, František Kratochvíl, Laura C. Robinson, and Antoinette Schapper
Studies in Language, 2014, Volume 38, Number 1, Page 44

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in