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The Lack of Zero Anaphora and Incipient Person Marking in Tagalog

The Lack of Zero Anaphora and Incipient Person Marking in Tagalog NIKOLAUS P. HIMMELMANN australian national university and ruhr-universität bochum It has been widely assumed that Tagalog allows zero anaphora freely for both actors and undergoers in semantically transitive constructions. The data presented here strongly suggest that this assumption is wrong for actors in one of the two basic transitive construction types: undergoer-oriented constructions. In these constructions, the actor argument does not appear to be freely omissible in contexts in which zero anaphora would be pragmatically warranted. This ²nding has implications for the controversial issue of whether undergoer-oriented constructions in Tagalog are syntactically transitive. Furthermore, it suggests that the most common kind of overt actor expressions found in this construction, pronominal clitics, may be analyzed as an early stage in the grammaticization of person marking. 1. INTRODUCTION.1 One prominent but poorly understood feature of the socalled focus system in Philippine-type languages is the fact that, in many of these languages, the overt expression of core arguments (i.e., actor and undergoer in the case of transitive events) is not obligatory. The following segment from a Tagalog narrative contains two semantically transitive clauses, in the ²rst one of which actor and undergoer are overtly expressed while in the second one the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

The Lack of Zero Anaphora and Incipient Person Marking in Tagalog

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 38 (2) – Dec 1, 1999

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © by University of Hawai'i Press
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1527-9421
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Abstract

NIKOLAUS P. HIMMELMANN australian national university and ruhr-universität bochum It has been widely assumed that Tagalog allows zero anaphora freely for both actors and undergoers in semantically transitive constructions. The data presented here strongly suggest that this assumption is wrong for actors in one of the two basic transitive construction types: undergoer-oriented constructions. In these constructions, the actor argument does not appear to be freely omissible in contexts in which zero anaphora would be pragmatically warranted. This ²nding has implications for the controversial issue of whether undergoer-oriented constructions in Tagalog are syntactically transitive. Furthermore, it suggests that the most common kind of overt actor expressions found in this construction, pronominal clitics, may be analyzed as an early stage in the grammaticization of person marking. 1. INTRODUCTION.1 One prominent but poorly understood feature of the socalled focus system in Philippine-type languages is the fact that, in many of these languages, the overt expression of core arguments (i.e., actor and undergoer in the case of transitive events) is not obligatory. The following segment from a Tagalog narrative contains two semantically transitive clauses, in the ²rst one of which actor and undergoer are overtly expressed while in the second one the

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Dec 1, 1999

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