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A broader perspective on point of view: logophoricity in Ogonoid languages

Cascadilla Proceedings Project
Publication Date
  • Department Of Linguistics
  • Endangered Languages


Logophoric marking in the Ogonoid family (Benue-Congo, Niger-Congo) differs significantly from most other logophoric reference systems in that these languages employ distinct verbal suffixes in logophoric domains, in addition to regular participant reference marking. This contrasts other known logophoric reference systems, which typically exhibit two sets of mutually exclusive pronouns, one logophoric and one non-logophoric. It has been commonly held in the literature that the function of logophoric pronouns is not to disambiguate coreference of clausal arguments, but to indicate the expression of a point of view distinct from that articulated using non-logophoric personal pronouns. In this paper, the properties of logophoric reference in Gokana (Hyman and Comrie 1981) and Kana (Ikoro 1996) are introduced before discussing new data from Eleme. Evidence is presented that point of view does not play a role in the use of logophoric marking in Eleme. Rather, it is argued that the logophoric trigger is determined by the interaction of person, number and grammatical relation hierarchies allowing for the development of a unique and comparably pervasive system of coreference.

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