Egophoric patterns in Duna verbal morphology
San Roque, L.
Egophoric patterns in Duna verbal morphology. In S. Floyd, E. Norcliffe, & L. San Roque (Eds.
(pp. 405-436). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
In the language Duna (Trans New Guinea), egophoric distributional patterns are a pervasive characteristic of verbal morphology, but do not comprise a single coherent system. Many morphemes, including evidential markers and future time inflections, show strong tendencies to co-occur with ‘informant’ subjects (the speaker in a declarative, the addressee in an interrogative), or alternatively with non-informant subjects. The person sensitivity of the Duna forms is observable in frequency, speaker judgments of sayability, and subject implicatures. Egophoric and non-egophoric distributional patterns are motivated by the individual semantics of the morphemes, their perspective-taking properties, and logical and/or conventionalised expectations of how people experience and talk about events. Distributional tendencies can also be flouted, providing a resource for speakers to convey attitudes towards their own knowledge and experiences, or the knowledge and experiences of others.