Anaphora in traditional Jambi Malay

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The traditional Malay spoken in the villages across the Batanghari River from Jambi City in Sumatra, Indonesia displays an anaphoric system in which all anaphoric forms can be used in both &#8220;pronominal&#8221; and &#8220;reflexive&#8221; environments. Some forms, however, show a <i>preference</i> for a local (&#8220;reflexive&#8221;) interpretation, while other forms prefer a non-local (&#8220;pronominal&#8221;) interpretation. In contrast, in Standard Malay/Indonesian these forms are categorially either pronominal or reflexive. In this paper, we examine in detail the distribution of the anaphoric forms in the village dialects, and argue that this distribution is pragmatically based rather than determined by the Binding Theory. We conclude that it is plausible to view the distribution in the standard language as a grammaticalization of the system found in the villages, and not as a direct reflection of UG principles.


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