Linguistik-Klassifikation: Morphologie / Morphology
- Tibetobirmanische Sprachen ; Sinotibetische Sprachen (2)
The inclusive-exclusive distinction in Tibeto-Burman languages
Randy J. LaPolla
- A survey of 170 Tibeto-Burman languages showed 69 with a distinction between inclusive and exclusive first-person plural pronouns, 18 of which also show inclusive- exclusive in Idual. Only the Kiranti languages and some Chin languages have inclusive-exclusive in the person marking. Of the forms of the pronouns involved in the inclusive-exclusive opposition, usually the exclusive form is less marked and historically prior to the inclusive form, and we find the distinction cannot be reconstructed to Proto-Tibeto-Burman or to mid level groupings. Qnly the Kiranti group has marking of the distinction that can be reconstructed to the proto level, and this is also reflected in the person-marking system.
On the utility of the concepts of markedness and prototypes in understanding the development of morphological systems
Randy J. LaPolla
- In attempting to understand the history of the morphology of a language or group of languages, we occasionally face a problem of isomorphy, where two or more semantic categories evince the same formal marking. We then must decide which use of that particular form of marking is the oldest, and also determine the possible source and path of development of the marking. In languages with written documents of great time depth this is often not a problem, but in unwritten languages it can be quite difficult. This paper discusses two tools that can be used for this purpose: the concepts of markedness and prototypes.