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Linguistic Typology

Ed. by Plank, Frans

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Volume 18, Issue 2 (Sep 2014)


Ėven nominal evaluatives and the marking of definiteness

Brigitte Pakendorf
  • Corresponding author
  • Institut des Sciences de l'Homme, Dynamique du Langage, 14 avenue Berthelot, 69363 Lyon Cedex 07, France
  • Email:
/ Ija V. Krivoshapkina
  • ul. Lamutskogo 1, s. Sebjan-Kjuël', Kobjajskij ulus, 678318, Respublika Saxa, Russian Federation
  • Email:
Published Online: 2014-09-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingty-2014-0012


Languages vary as to whether they overtly mark the referential status of noun phrases as well as the manner in which they do so. This article discusses a hitherto undescribed means of marking the (un)identifiability of referents found in Ėven, a North Tungusic language spoken in Siberia. Narrative data from two geographically and linguistically divergent dialects show that in this language (in)definiteness is expressed with sets of diminutive and augmentative suffixes which are in complementary distribution. One member of each set occurs with identifiable referents and one member occurs with unidentifiable referents; the dialects differ with respect to possessive-marked nouns.

Keywords: augmentative; definiteness; diminutive; evaluative morphology; Ėven; information structure; referent-tracking; syntax; Tungusic

About the article

Received: 2013-09-09

Revised: 2014-03-24

Published Online: 2014-09-05

Published in Print: 2014-09-01

Citation Information: Linguistic Typology, ISSN (Online) 1613-415X, ISSN (Print) 1430-0532, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingty-2014-0012.

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©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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