Variation in pronominal indexing: lexical stipulation vs. referential properties in Alor-Pantar languages

Sebastian Fedden, Dunstan Patrick Brown, František Kratochvíl, Laura Robinson, Antoinette Schapper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine the role of referential properties and lexical stipulation in three closely related languages of eastern Indonesia, the Alor-Pantar languages Abui, Kamang and Teiwa. Our focus is on the continuum where event properties (e.g. volitionality, affectedness) are highly important at one extreme or play virtually no role at the other. These languages occupy different points on this continuum. In Abui event semantics play the greatest role, while in Teiwa they play the least role (the lexical property animacy being dominant in the formation of verb classes). Kamang occupies an intermediate position. Teiwa has conventionalized the relation between a verb and its class along the lines of animacy so that classes become associated with the animacy value of the objects with which the verbs in a given class typically occur. Paying attention to a lexical property like animacy, in contrast with event properties, has meant greater potential for arbitrary classes to emerge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-79
Number of pages36
JournalStudies in Language
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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© 2014, authors. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • affectedness
  • agreement
  • Alor-Pantar
  • animacy
  • inflectional classes
  • lexical stipulation
  • volitionality

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