Logophoricity

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In linguistics, logophoricity is a kind of coreferential anaphora, where the third-person subject of a dependent clause is marked as identical to the subject of the main clause. Logophoric systems are frequently restricted to indirect speech.

Logophoric pronouns are common in the languages of West Africa. In Ewe, for example, they are used to show that the subject in reported speech or thought is the same as the person doing the speaking or thinking. In English, such sentences as "he thought that he went" are ambiguous, as it is not clear whether the two instances of "he" are the same person; Ewe, in contrast, has different words for "he", and e, to distinguish these two meanings:

Logophoric coreference: Kofi be -dzo "Kofi said s/he (Kofi) left." (special logophoric pronoun: e-be -dzo)
Unmarked switch reference: Kofi be e-dzo "Kofi said s/he (someone else) left." (usual pronoun: e-be e-dzo)

Mabaan, a Luo language of Sudan, has the opposite system, where the usual pronoun indicates coreference, and a special 'anti-logophoric' pronoun indicates switch reference:

Unmarked coreference: ʔɛ́kɛ̀ ɡɔ́kè ʔáɡē ʔɛ́kɛ̀ kâɲɟɛ́ "He said that he (himself) will.swim" (usual pronoun)
Anti-logophoric switch reference: ʔɛ́kɛ̀ ɡɔ́kè ʔáɡē ʔɛ̂ktá kâɲɟɛ́ "He said that he (other) will.swim" (special pronoun)

The Chadic language Mupun of Nigeria has one of the most elaborate systems known, with separate object forms and logophoricity for the addressee as well as the speaker:

wu he, wa she, mo they: subject of main clause, incl. speaker; non-coreferential subject of dependent clause
wur him, war her: object of main clause, incl. addressee; object of dependent clause non-coreferential to speaker; subject of dependent clause non-coreferetial to addressee
ɗɪ he, ɗe she, ɗu they: subject of dependent clause coreferential to speaker (logophoric subject)
ɗin him, ɗe her: object of dependent clause coreferential to speaker (logophoric object)
gwar he/she: subject of dependent clause, coreferential to addressee (object-subject logophore)

For example (Heine & Nurse 2008:145):

(sat to say; that; ta ɗee to stop by, nas to beat; ji to come)
  • Wu sat nə wu ta ɗee n-Jos
He said that he (other) stopped over in Jos
  • Wu sat nə n-nas wur
He said that I beat him (other)
  • N-sat n-wurwur ji
I told him that he (other) should come
  • Wu sat nə ta ɗɪ ɗee n-Jos
He said that he (himself) stopped over in Jos
  • Wu sat nə n-nas ɗin
He said that I beat him (himself)
  • N-sat n-wurgwar ji
I told him that he (himself) should come

References[edit]

  • Bernd Heine, Derek Nurse, 2008. A linguistic geography of Africa

See also[edit]