Honorific and affiliative use of dual and paucal in Daakie
Manfred Krifka
July 2019

The paper investigates number marking in Daakie (Port Vato) in South Ambrym, Vanuatu. The language has a complex number system in pronouns, subject agreement, possessives and relational nouns, distinguishing singular, dual, paucal and plural forms, with an inclusive-exclusive distinction for non-singular first persons. As for the referential use of these number features, it is established that dual is strictly used for the reference to two entities, whereas paucal forms are used for reference to a smaller number of entities, at least three and up to five or more for animates. There are two derived uses of number that indicate social meaning: The dual is used to address and talk about persons that stand in a certain in-law kinship relation to the speaker, a use that appears wide-spread but not well-reported in Oceanic languages and can also be found in Munda languages. The paucal is used to address and refer to a group of people that may be quite large, provided that the speaker socially affiliates with that group.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007997
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of the Conference on Oceanic Languages COOL 10, Honiara, Solomon Islands
keywords: dual, paucal, honorifics, vanuatu languages, oceanic languages, pragmatics, social meaning, in-law language, semantics, morphology
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