Distributivity, Plurality, and Reduplication in Tsou

Vol. 32 No. 2   12/2002   


Distributivity, Plurality, and Reduplication in Tsou*


Henry Yung-li Chang









Key words

Tsou, distributive quantification, plural markings, reduplication, subject-sensitive, Actor-sensitive, patient-sensitive, numerals, wh-words


    This paper investigates the grammar of distributive quantification in Tsou and its interactions with plural markings and reduplication. As far as distribution and syntactic restriction are concerned, Tsou distributive quantifiers behave more like the English adverbial each rather than the determiner-like each—They must follow the auxiliary and precede the main verb and they must co-occur with plural pronouns and

noun phrases. However, they differ from the adverbial each in three aspects:(1) they are normally inflected for focus and should thus be identified as verbs; (2) they only trigger the overt plural markings of human noun phrases and the noun phrases denoting entities of various kinds; (3) they are restrictive in the selection of their quantifiees ach and ach‘all’ can only quantify over the subjects and their bound counterparts – cch and –ccha can only refer to patients while ianan’ou and ianan’ova ‘individually/ separately’ are sensitive to Actors. Reduplication invariably gives rise to plurality, but does not always bring about quantification: nominal reduplication simply yields plurality and nominal reduplication plus the prefix ma- derive the extra meaning of various kinds or distributive quantification; numeral reduplication plus the prefix ma- uniformly creates distributive quantification; wh- word reduplication plus the prefix ma- generally involves existential quantification.



Author: Henry Yung-li Chang
Genre: Article