Wednesday, 24 April, 4.00-5 pm: Jermy Balukh

Personal Pronouns of Dhao in Eastern Indonesia

Dhao is an Austronesian language spoken by about 3000 people mainly on Ndao Island, Eastern Indonesia. Dhao has four sets of personal pronouns. Two sets are morphologically independent and the other two are bound which requires hosts. The first set features bisyllabics which are considered free pronouns and the second set features monosyllabics which are considered clitics. The bound pronouns are prefixes which are attached to vowel-initial verbs and suffixes. The latter can only be attached to the verb la- ‘go’ to indicate agreement. The clitics are phonologically not identical to the free pronouns. This shows that the clitics are not the reduced forms of the free pronouns. The pronominal affixes are identical to the clitics, rather than to the free pronouns. For the syntactic distribution, not all the clitics can substitute the full NP as arguments of verbs. For example, nga ‘1pl-ex’ never appears as independent argument, na ‘3sg’ is preferably used in subject position and its counterpart ne ‘3sg’ in object position. Na ‘3sg’ is used as object only in combination with a complement. As Dhao lacks other types of pronouns, personal pronouns are also used as the possessor in possessive construction. The free pronouns but also the clitics appear immediately after the possessum, functioning as possessors. In addition, particular clitics, like ku ‘1sg’ are used for honorific expressions and emphasis, while the pronominal suffix –si ‘3pl’ is copied to express plurality.