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 1                   48. Person Marking on Adpositions
 3                                    Dik Bakker
 5   1.       Defining the values
 7   This map gives a survey of the distribution of languages with
 8   person markers on their adpositions. An example of a person-
 9   marked preposition is found in (1) from Maybrat (West Papuan;
10   Papua, Indonesia).
12   (1)      Maybrat (Dol 1999: 88)
13            T-ai        m-kah              ara.
14            1SG-hit     3SG.N-with         stick
15            ‘I hit with a stick.’
17   The 379 languages in the map have been characterized in terms
18   of the four values in the table below.
          @    1.    No adpositions                                            63
          @    2.    Adpositions       without         person                 209
          @    3.    Person marking for pronouns only                          83
          @    4.    Person marking for pronouns and                           23
                                                                 total        378
21            In order to determine whether a language has person
22   marking on its adpositions, we first need to establish whether it
23   possesses the category adposition at all. In general, the major
24   function of an adposition is to relate its object, i.e. the noun
25   phrase with which it forms a constituent, to another nominal or
26   a verbal constituent on the basis of a more or less specific
27   semantic        relationship,    such     as    location,   time,   property,
28   instrument or possession. Languages may use several strategies

29   to fulfill this function, either lexical or morphological. In
30   example (2) below, from Barbareño Chumash (California), we
31   have a verbal construction fulfilling such a function. What is
32   expressed by an adverb and an adposition in the English
33   translation, across from, is rendered by a fully inflected verb in
34   this language.
36   (2)   Barbareño Chumash (Wash 2001: 75)
37         Kʰ-ili-ʔete     .su s     hi    lwí.sa     hik -ken
38         1-HAB-be.across.from      DEP   Luisa      DEP-1.sit
39         hi-h - a
40         DEP-DIST-table
41         ‘I used t sit acr ss fr   Luisa at the tab e.’
43   Example (3), from Tauya (Madang; Papua New Guinea), shows a
44   nominal strategy to express the locality relationship rendered by
45   the preposition beside in the English version.
47   (3)   Tauya (MacDonald 1990: 283)
48         ya    nai-sa
49         1SG   rib-LOC
50         ‘beside    e’
52   Although diachronically forms such as the verb         ʰi iʔete   .su s
53   in (2) and the noun naisa in (3) may eventually give rise to
54   adpositions, they will not be considered as such here. In general
55   a specific element in a language will be assumed to be an
56   adposition only if it is morphologically independent and displays
57   morphosyntactic behaviour distinct from more clearcut verbal,
58   nominal or adverbial elements in that language.
59         In addition to languages such as Chumash and Tauya
60   which encode adpositional meanings via verbs or nouns, there
61   are languages in which the relevant relations are coded by
62   morphological means, typically by a case suffix. The example

63   from Arabana (Pama-Nyungan; South Australia) in (4) illustrates
64   this strategy. The ab ative case is used t express ‘away fr              ’.
66   (4)    Arabana (Hercus 1994: 71)
67          Maka-ru         kilta-rnda.
68          Fire-ABL        pull-PRES
69          ‘He pu s it ut f the fire.’
71   Another type of morphologically dependent expression of
72   nominal relations is via adverbial nominal affixes, as in example
73   (5) from Jaqaru (Aymaran; Peru).
75   (5)    Jaqaru (Hardman 2000: 21)
76          ut-nuri-t”a
77          house-within-from
78          ‘fr      within the h use’
80   Arguably a borderline case between morphological and syntactic
81   expression are clitics which attach to the noun phrase rather
82   than to nouns, as exemplified in (6) from Ngankikurungkurr
83   (Daly; Northern Territory, Australia).
85   (6)    Ngankikurungkurr (Hoddinott and Kofod 1988: 72)
86          Kalla       ngayi      yedi      tye   jeningkisyi      yaga=nide.
87          Mother      1SG        went      PST   canoe            DEM=LOC
88          ‘My       ther ca e in that can e.’
90   In many instances, case affixes as in (4) and clitics as in (6) can
91   be analyzed diachronically as the result of the affixation or
92   cliticization     of     adpositions.    However,     taking     a   rather
93   conservative, strictly syntactic position on this matter, I will not
94   consider such bound forms as true adpositions. A further
95   argument for not doing so may be that since such forms are
96   (syntactic) dependents rather than heads, they are not potential
97   targets for person marking but, to the contrary, may attach

 98   themselves to pronominal forms. As a result of this, all
 99   languages which resort exclusively to strategies as exemplified
100   under (2)-(6) are coded as having no adpositions (value 1) on
101   the map. They are by definition irrelevant for the type of person
102   marking under consideration here.
103         Having established the criteria for what constitutes an
104   adposition, we must now determine what qualifies as person
105   marking on adpositions. In order for a potential marker to be
106   considered a person marker it should fulfill two requirements.
107   First, there should be enough differentiation between the
108   relevant forms that a distinction exists either between all three
109   persons or between any combination of first, second or third
110   person. One of the forms may be zero. And secondly, the forms
111   should be affixes rather than clitics.
112         Languages with only bare adpositions, and those for
113   which markers on their adpositions do not meet the criteria
114   mentioned above irrespective of the nature of the adpositional
115   object, are assigned value 2 (adpositions without person
116   marking). English is a case in point, and so is Polish, as shown
117   in example (7a-b).
119   (7)   Polish (Anna Siewierska p.c.)
120         a.     Idę            do   Kasi.
121                go.FUT.1SG     to   Kasia.GEN
122                ‘I g t   asia.’
123         b.     Idę            do   niej.
124                go.FUT.1SG     to   3SG.F.GEN
125                ‘I g t her.’
127         When languages do show person marking on adpositions
128   for pronominal objects but not for nominal objects, they are
129   assigned value 3 (person marking for pronouns only). Paamese
130   (Oceanic; Vanuatu) has this kind of adpositional marking, as
131   shown in (8a-b) below.

133   (8)    Paamese (Crowley 1982: 182)
134          a.    Mail      Ham            sān             ēta          min-nau
135                Mail      Ham            3SG.send        letter       to-1SG
136                ranaut           Vī a.
137             Vila
138                ‘Mai Ha      sent    e a etter fr         Vi a.’
139          b.    Kai se ūs           min tāta            ven     mane      onak.
140                3SG 3SG.speak       to      father about money            POSS.1SG
141                ‘He sp ke t father ab ut            y         ney.’
143   Typically, in these languages the adposition has no separate
144   independent pronominal object apart from the person marker
145   itself, although there may be one under certain conditions, such
146   as contrastive stress. Hence, more often than not, the person
147   marker on the adposition is the only element representing the
148   pronominal object. In this group are also included languages for
149   which only a subset of the adpositions have person marking. In
150   Burushaski (isolate; Pakistan or India) the postposition pači
151   ‘with’ in (9a)      ccurs with a prefixed pers n                     arker; the
152   postposition gΛnε ‘f r’ in (9b) d es n t.
154   (9)    Burushaski (Lorimer 1935: 96, 97)
155          a.    Ja     aˑ-pʌči           huruˑt.
156                I      1SG-with          stay
157                ‘Stay with    e.’
158          b.    Xʊdaˑ-ɛ       gʌnɛ.
159                God-GEN       for
160                ‘F r G d’s sake!’
162   The occurrence of person marking may also be subject to other
163   constraints. For instance, in Kiribati (Oceanic) there is person
164   marking only when the referent is animate, as shown in (10a-b).
166   (10)   Kiribati (Groves et al. 1985: 65)
167          a.    nako-ia       mooa

168                 to-3PL           chickens
169                 ‘t the chickens’
170           b.    nako      taian    nii
171                 to        ART      coconut.trees
172                 ‘t the c c nut trees’
174   However, borderline cases such as Spanish, which has bound
175   pronominal forms for just one preposition, con 'with', and only
176   for the first and second person singular forms, were coded as
177   showing value 2.
178        Finally, there are languages which have adpositional marking
179   with both pronominal and nominal objects. Abkhaz (Northwest
180   Caucasian; Georgia) is a case in point, as shown in (11).
182   (11)    Abkhaz (Hewitt 1979: 103)
183           a.    a-j yas          a-q’n
184                 DEF-river        3SG-at
185                 ‘at the river’
186           b.    sar    s-q’ nt˚’
187                 I      1SG-from
188                 ‘fr       e’
190   Such languages are assigned value 4. Like value 3, this value
191   includes languages which do not normally use a full pronoun in
192   constructions such as (11b).
193           In my sample there were no languages of the other
194   logically possible type, which would have person marking on
195   adpositions for nominal but not for pronominal objects.
197   2.      Geographical distribution
199   The phenomenon of person marking on adpositions is not
200   distributed evenly over the world. First, the languages of North
201   America and Australia lack adpositions much more often than
202   the other areas. Of the North American languages in the sample,

203   48% are adpositionless; for Australia the percentage is as high
204   as 73%. The overall figure for adpositionlessness is around 17%
205   in the current sample.
206         If we look only at languages with adpositions, then the
207   following may be observed. Person marking on adpositions is
208   non-existent in Australia, and rare in Southeast Asia (3 out of
209   30 languages, all belonging to the Austronesian family). For
210   Southeast Asia this does not come as a surprise, given the
211   general lack of person marking in this area. In Australia, on the
212   other hand, person agreement on the verb is found in the
213   majority of the languages, which may be an indication that the
214   two types of person marking are not necessarily closely related
215   to each other. In Mesoamerica and the Pacific, person marking
216   on adpositions is clearly abundant. These are the only areas
217   where a majority of the languages have this kind of marking:
218   over 60%.
219         Other    striking    figures   are   the   relatively   frequent
220   occurrence of languages of type 4 (person marking for
221   pronouns and nouns) in Mesoamerica. It is above all the Mayan
222   and Uto-Aztecan languages which have this property. In Africa,
223   although this area has a relatively high amount of type 3
224   languages, none of the languages show type 4. Eurasia, New
225   Guinea and South America are all close to the overall
226   distribution. Of the 20 Indo-European languages in the sample,
227   only the two Celtic languages Irish and Welsh and the two
228   Iranian languages Persian and Kurdish have any marking at all;
229   they all show type 3.
231   3.    Theoretical issues
233   Due to the fact that linguists differ in the criteria that they use in
234   determining the existence of adpositions in a language, there
235   may be considerable discrepancies in the percentage of
236   languages which are seen to lack adpositions altogether. My
237   figure of 17% is close to that of Hawkins (1983), and also

238   Tsunoda et al. (1995). By contrast, Matthew Dryer (chapter 85 of
239   this atlas) is more liberal in his interpretation of what
240   constitutes   an   adposition   and   treats   in   some   cases as
241   adpositions what I have considered to be case clitics.
242         A second point that deserves a word of comment is that it
243   is not always possible on the basis of the information presented
244   in grammars to decide what the precise grammatical status of a
245   specific person marker is, i.e. whether it is indeed an affix
246   attached to the adposition, or a clitic, or even a more or less
247   independent pronominal form. Apart from morphosyntactic
248   information, the phonological form of the person marker may
249   be an indication, as well as the amount of (dis)similarity to other
250   person markers, notably independent and possessive pronouns.
251         A final issue which needs to be briefly mentioned is the
252   diachronic status of the markers. They may be relatively recent,
253   and introduced after adpositions were formed in the language.
254   In these cases they are often phonologically related to the actual
255   personal pronouns of the language, typically in their object or
256   oblique form. This is the case in about 12% of the languages
257   that display some form of person marking on their adpositions.
258   Or the markers may be relatively old, and already present on the
259   verbal or nominal precursor of the adposition. If there is
260   similarity to any other person marker in the language at all,
261   similarity to subject or object agreement markers on the verb
262   may (but need not) be an indication of the verbal origin of the
263   adposition. This seems to be the case in about 13% of the
264   relevant languages. Similarity to possessive markers, which was
265   attested in about 24% of the relevant languages, may point to a
266   nominal origin. In around 41% of the cases, person markers on
267   adpositions bear a similarity to both verb agreement and
268   possessive markers in the language concerned. In the remaining
269   11% no clear similarities could be detected.

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