By Leslie H Stennes; Michigan State University. African Studies Center
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Extra resources for A reference grammar of Adamawa Fulani
It is brown. Erteschik-Shir (1997: 20) represents (7) with the help of two file cards of which one is headed by AI and the other one by dog2. The first card mentions 'Aj has a dog' and the second one mentions 'The dog2 (that AI has) is brown'. Notice that the first file card is not headed by the first person pronoun / or by the word Relation with the Referent 43 'speaker', but rather by a marker that identifies a specific individual as Aj. That is, the file cards do not appear to use any information that is provided by personal pronouns.
For example, Lak, belonging to the Lak-Dargva group, has developed agreement markers for representing a distinction between speech-act participants (first and second persons) and non-speech-act participants as shown in (28), quoted from Zirkov (1995: 95). There is no number distinction in third person. (28) 1,2 3 Singular Plural -ra -ru -r/-ri/-4> Helmbrecht refers to a hypothesis put forth by Burchuladze (1979) and other authors regarding the diachronic source of these personal markers. According to this hypothesis, these agreement markers represent old auxiliaries that were fused with the participial form of the main verb.
Notice, however, that this dissociation of personal pronouns from their referents is only a preferred characteristic and not an absolute necessity. It is helpful in making the pronouns function as efficient shifters. There are two main aspects of referents, namely their gender and number, which tend to get represented in personal pronouns in spite of the fact that such a representation makes the pronouns less efficient in their primary function of being shifters. In fact, 38 Pronouns personal pronouns appear to behave like the two-faced Janus in this respect.