Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-8706
  • E-ISSN: 2213-8714
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This paper investigates the extension of a third person human bound pronoun to cover a nonhuman function and its implications for the grammar of pronouns in the Formosan language Tsou. It is found that (i) the newly derived bound pronoun can encode not only a place or an animal but also a time; (ii) it can refer to either a singular or a plural; (iii) the semantic extension is restricted to the invisible singular set of bound pronouns; (v) it surfaces as a suffix rather than an enclitic; (vi) it triggers either ergative or possessive agreement. These findings have far-reaching implications. On the one hand, they enrich the already sophisticated system of pronouns of Tsou. On the other hand, they differentiate Tsou from other Formosan languages with bound pronouns and identify Tsou as a language like Archaic Chinese/French instead of English/Swedish.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): affix; bound pronoun; clitic; ergative; invisible; nonhuman; singular; Tsou
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