Cumulative Conjunction and Exhaustification in Morphology: Clusivity, Typology, and Markedness in Person Paradigms
Uli Sauerland, Jonathan David Bobaljik
June 2022

We review accounts of the generalization from Zwicky 1977 that languages without an inclusive/exclusive contrast (almost) invariably treat the inclusive meaning as a first person rather than second. We focus on Harbour 2016 who proposes a system that describes all and only the attested categories without appeal to additional postulates such as a person hierarchy, but introduces several novel assumptions about the semantics of features. We suggest that the key innovation in Harbour's proposal is the use of cumulative (non-Boolean) conjunction in word-internal composition. We offer a more conservative alternative, showing that the main result can be derived with cumulative conjunction and exhaustification, while avoiding the other novel assumptions in Harbour's approach. Moreover, we contend that our approach is empirically superior regarding certain apparently mixed clusivity systems, notably Mandarin pronouns. More broadly, the result argues that cumulative conjunction and exhaustification are available in word-internal semantics just like in sentence semantics.
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Reference: lingbuzz/006660
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keywords: clusivity, cumulative conjunction, exhaustification, person, syou, universals, semantics, morphology
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