Siwi, a Berber language of Egypt, shows gender/number agreement of medial demonstratives with the addressee. Such phenomena are crosslinguistically very rarely reported, and are not discussed in major surveys of the typology of demonstratives (Diessel 1999; Imai 2003). However, within person-oriented demonstrative systems, such marking amounts to an iconic representation of addressee anchoring. The pragmatics of Siwi demonstratives thus cast light on the nature of the mapping from person to place that such systems reflect (Greenberg 1985). Comparative eastern Berber data suggests that demonstrative addressee agreement may be more widespread than the literature reflects.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Siwi addressee agreement and demonstrative typology
My article "Siwi addressee agreement and demonstrative typology" has just been published, in STUF 67:1. In this article, I discuss the semantics of Siwi demonstratives, focusing especially on a phenomenon that I briefly covered in a post from 2012, Siwi: addressee agreement and addressing Aljazeera. Here's the abstract: