Volume 47, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This paper provides a first description of verbal number in Idi, a language of the Pahoturi River family spoken in Western Province, Papua New Guinea. Idi shows an intricate system of marking verbal number, evident in verb stems and two sets of suffixes occurring in different positions on the verb, based on a distinction between nonplural (1 or 2) versus plural (more than 2). Verbs also agree in person and number with core arguments; this system of nominal number is distinguishing singular (1) from nonsingular (more than 1). Elements from the two systems are combined to arrive at composite number values for both events and participants. In addition, verbal number interrelates with a lexical aspectual distinction of punctual/telic versus durative/atelic, manifesting on verb stems and in inflectional patterns. The paper provides evidence for the thesis that verbal number in Idi is not merely lexically determined, but largely inflectional.


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