Volume 39, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Ikema is a dialect of the Miyako language of Ryukyu, Japan and is endangered. It is remotely related to Japanese, but unlike Japanese it shows a differential-subject marking based on the animacy feature of the subject noun. The pronoun and personal names are invariably marked by ga, while inanimate nouns are marked by nu. All human common nouns are also marked by nu, but a subset of this category can be marked by ga. In this paper, I propose to employ the socio-pragmatic notion of addressability, or the noun’s potential to be used as an address term, to classify human nouns into two subtypes for case marking, “Dad, can you help me?”.


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