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 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale. copyvio[edit]

This article is identical to . I suspect a copyright violation. J S Ayer 22:47, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia isn't copyrighted. Anyone can copy our articles. kwami 02:25, 2005 September 9 (UTC)

That page has no acknowledgment of Wikipedia as source, as is, I believe, required by the license. Can we establish which page is older? J S Ayer 01:15, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

We could try Google. I know this page is older, because I wrote it. My sources were Payne's Describing morphosyntax (as much from my notes in the margins as from the actual text; I relied on Payne for the Samoan example, but have confirmed it elsewhere, since his book has its share of mistakes) and a couple Wikipedia articles, such as the Telugu example (almost clip & paste, that one: I'm sure the Telugu article at least is demonstrably older than the BibleOcean page! kwami 04:06, 2005 September 10 (UTC)
The BibleOcean page isn't in the Wayback Internet Archive, which means it's less than about 6 mos old. (Of course, this article is too recent to be there either.) See [1].
Unfortunately, my Gcache extension hasn't been updated for a while and no longer works. kwami 05:23, 2005 September 10 (UTC)

If you wrote it, good for us, and thank you; but that means is in copyright violation, because they aren't observing the terms of the license. J S Ayer 02:18, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

I've checked Wikipedia's "copyleft" and you're right, they are supposed to acknowledge us. I've sent them the following message:
You have copied an article I wrote for Wikipedia without giving credit at Wikipedia is free, but we do have copyright; the conditions of that copyright (actually "copyleft") are that you give credit, usually by a direct link back to the article. The article in question is at Please leave any comments at the discussion/Talk page if you have any. Thank you!
I've seen other copied articles at their site, but never thought much about it. It may be that this is their standard practice, so that observing copyright may be a serious issue for them.
Actually it's the Taiwanese example (which I copied from the Taiwanese article) that would clearly show Wikipedia's older. kwami 05:17, 2005 September 12 (UTC)

Okay, issue resolved: they've given us credit. kwami 22:47, 28 September 2005 (UTC)


Hi Chris,

I see we're having something of a disagreement with Tagalog kitá. It's not indifferent to who acts on whom, is it? Also, "ergative" is generally not a good term for Philippine languages, although there are some (such as Kampapangan) which truly are ergative languages. Using the term for languages like Tagalog is a theoretical POV that hasn't been demonstrated by the languages themselves. If you don't wish to say 1st person is acting on 2nd in this example, then I suggest leaving the relationship vague. (After all, saying 1ERG+2ABS is the same as 1>2.) kwami 05:28, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi, it's all right to leave it vague. But, as for ergativity, I am pretty confident that Tagalog and other Philippine languages are ergative, after having learned some Basque a few months ago. Of course, Basque & Tagalog use them differently, but I got a good feel as to how they are used. Though, I am very interested in knowing on why you perceive Kapampangan to be truly ergative
Also, it was Philippine linguist Dr. Laurie Reid who convinced me that Philippine languages are ergative. I posted his comments to me here on the Ergative-absolutive_language article's talk page. --Chris S. 05:38, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
I am no specialist in Philippine languages. What little I know is from colleagues I respect who have worked on them. My understanding is that few of them are actually ergative in the sense of the Australian languages, although they do have similarities to ergative languages. There's so much more going on in the choice of case that calling the system "ergative" conceals more than it reveals -- like using the word "subject" when discussing an ergative or Philippine-type system. There's a reason that people keep coming up with new terms like "trigger" and "pivot" rather than use 'ergative'. Also, they aren't all alike!
Mithun worked on Kapampangan, not expecting it to be ergative because other claims of ergativity in Philippine languages didn't correlate well to ergativity elsewhere (or only correlated partially), so the clear ergativity she found in that language was a bit of a surprise. One reference is,
  • Mithun, Marianne. 1994. The implications of ergativity for a Philippine voice system. In Voice: Form and function, ed. by Barbara Fox and Paul J. Hopper, 247-277. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
though there are others.
A book that I thought was quite a good read was
  • Fay Wouk and Malcolm Ross (ed.), 2002. The history and typology of western Austronesian voice systems. Australian National University.
The nice thing about it is that the contributors are more interested in illuminating Philippine languages than in using the languages to demonstrate their pet theory, and if the system doesn't fit into a neat little package with a recognized label like 'ergative', they aren't worried about it. Other researchers start with a theory, and unfortunately it is the language that has to fit the theory rather than vice versa. They can make quite a convincing case if you don't have an alternative POV handy. kwami 07:03, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
I'll check out Mithun as well as getting in touch with Wouk & Ross, as they are on a mailing list I'm on. If you what you say about her work is true, then I am very surprised that she'd consider Kapampangan an ergative language and the others not. What separates Kapampangan from other languages is its system of pronoun agreement. But other than that, Kapampangan's treatment of verbs is very much like Tagalog and other Philippine languages. FWIW, I've been studying Kapampangan for a few years now and wrote the Kapampangan article (though not yet complete), so I'm finding this puzzling. Thanks again and congrats on the adminship. --Chris S. 23:13, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. And there's a good reason I'm giving you references instead of trying to summarize them myself! What I said above was misleading: Wouk & Ross covers Western AN, as the title suggests, not specifically Philippine languages. And perhaps Mithun was speaking of morphological rather than syntactic ergativity for K. - it's been a while. kwami 04:52, 7 October 2005 (UTC)


Might it be an idea to group the various language examples into language groups? At the moment a non-linguist would not be able to identify family patterns. Andrew Yong 11:48, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, Good idea. kwami 18:39, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Inclusive and Exclusive we in Indo-European[edit]

I have heard that the Indo-European language Marathi also has the inclusive and exclusive we differentiation. Could anyone having info on this update the page. I do not know much about this unfortunately. Kartheeque

There's also the 's of let's in English, which is implicitly inclusive. Mentioned as such in a footnote in Quirk's CGEL IIRC. jnestorius(talk) 00:08, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Interesting point. Indeed, a number of languages have first-person-plural imperatives (English "Let's go!", French "Allons-y !", Spanish "Vámonos!", Hebrew [bo(ɪ) n'lex]), and I'd imagine these are always implicitly inclusive. —RuakhTALK 19:07, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello, I would add Galician. It has a clear inclusive/exclusive we. [Nós] (we, exclusive) [nosoutros] (inclusive we). Regards, -- (talk) 19:31, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

References? (though that does seem to be a likely etymology for nosotros.) kwami (talk) 18:38, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Spanish also has the nos/nosotros distinction but in spanish it has nothing to do with clusivity. It may have something to do with clusivity in galician but it would require a very good source to show that it isn't just the same distinction as in spanish.·Maunus·ƛ· 04:31, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

African languages[edit]

I just added a note re Fula (and also a link to the page on Chinese pronouns). Re African languages (and the 4 main families thereof), this may be a feature of many more than just Fula, but I do not have that info. If this can be determined & added, it would also make stronger the case for organizing the info by language families. --A12n 17:41, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Hebrew (which isn't itself an African language, per se, but which is in the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family) doesn't distinguish the two, and I've never heard anything to suggest any other Afro-Asiatic languages do. I've no clue about the other major language families. —RuakhTALK 18:17, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
It's found in several of the Khoisan families. kwami 17:42, 29 September 2007 (UTC)


What would the third category be called?

  • mi'a (speaker and others)
  • mi'o (speaker and listener)
  • ma'a (speaker, others and listener)

-- 15:28, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

The first one is exclusive and the latter two are inclusive. —RuakhTALK 17:28, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
In some languages, (2) is treated as grammatically singular, and (3) as plural. In languages which have a dual, (2) is dual and (3) plural. I don't know of any language which distinguishes (3) from (speaker + several listeners). kwami 17:45, 29 September 2007 (UTC)


Redirected Clusivity to Inclusive and exclusive we because it is an alternate term for the same meaning, and has much more content there. Clusivity sounds more official and "scientific", but only one article links to it. mordel (talk) 15:49, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I like that title better. Less awkward. Copying rather than moving this there to avoid loss of their page history. kwami (talk) 22:08, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh, there is no page history to speak of. (Just the same comment as mordel made here.) I'll move it. kwami (talk) 22:10, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

English "let us" and "let's"[edit]

Do not confuse this idea with grammatical categories. The exemplified "let's" is a first person imperative marker, whereas "let us" (as used in the example) is a second person imperative of "let" with the object "us" (and so, not being an auxiliary, has no corresponding verbal complement.) But that's only half the trouble. The other half is that "let's" is a contraction of "let us" -- in the other form, that is, as a marker of the first person imperative. --VKokielov (talk) 19:43, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

True, it's not paradigmatic clusivity, but whether you use the contraction in the imperative corresponds strongly to clusivity. kwami (talk) 17:53, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
First person plural imperative is always inclusive by semantical necessity. When I want us to perform a collective action, I address us in the imperative: the subject is the addressee, so trivially the addressee is included. Rulatir (talk) 15:10, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Clusivity in Brazilian Portuguese[edit]

ABSTRACT: An analysis of the variation nós and a gente in subject position is presented. Using the framework of Labovian Quantitative Sociolinguistics, social and linguistic factors were identified in order to explain the different distribuitions of these forms. The study focused the use of educated speakers of three main geographical regions of Brasil: Rio de Janeiro (Southeastern area), Porto Alegre (Southern area) and Salvador (Northeastern area).

há uma diferenciação no emprego de nós e a gente em relação a um uso mais restrito ou mais genérico. O falante utiliza preferencialmente o pronome nós para se referir a ele mesmo e mais o interlocutor (não-eu), ou a não-pessoa: referente [+perceptível] e [+determinado]. No momento em que o falante amplia a referência, indeterminando-a, há maior favorecimento para a forma a gente.


There is a differentiation in the use of NÓS [we] and A GENTE [we] in relation to a more restricted or more generic use. The speaker uses the pronoun preferential NÓS to refer to himself and the interlocutor (not-I), or the not-person: referring [+perceivable] and [+determinated]. At the moment where the speaker extends the reference, making it indetermined, there's greater favoring of A GENTE.
Okay, this would appear to not be a clusivity difference then, since inclusive may be either nós or a gente depending on whether there is also a third party involved. kwami (talk) 17:49, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

What do you guys think about restructuring this article a bit?[edit]

Specifically, I think we should move the "Where Found" section to the bottom. Since the "singular we" section currently seems to refer specifically to Samoan, perhaps that should be moved under "Austronesian languages" unless we can demonstrate that the described phenomenon is widespread. Basically, the problem with the where found section is that it is a long list of language specific stuff and sections like that have a tendency to just keep getting longer as people add details about the languages with which they are familiar. This results in a semantic break in the article, and forces a reader to scroll far down to read other things about clusivity.

Actually, I think that clusivity is such a common distinction that listing each and every language that makes it and exactly how is overkill -- it would be a bit like making a list of tonal languages, when over half of the world's languages have phonemic tone -- and is primarily the result (like the tone example, because back in the day the tone article was in fact a list like that) of systemic bias. Since clusivity is not extant in the widely-spoken indo european languages it seems exotic to many editors and they thus feel the need to detail every example they come across. In fact it is not that exotic, and so probably we should seriously trim down the Where Found section to broad language families and notable examples, particularly if they deviate in some important way from the common "you and me (and maybe other people)" / "me and other people but not you" distinction we most frequently see.

In particular (and I'm not a linguist, so bear with me) I think it would be nice if we had more information on the typology of clusivity, i.e. what features it correlates with in language, etc. Any ideas? Eniagrom (talk) 20:53, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Ok, I've decided to be bold and I've gone ahead and made the changes suggested. Since the majority of the language-specific stuff is "the word for inclusive we in language X is Y, the word for exclusive we is Z", what do you guys think about making a simple table for brevity's sake? I really think we should only include examples in this article that are noteworthy in some way (and I wouldn't say the etymology of the words themselves is terribly noteworthy in most cases).
I also merged the indo-european "examples" (they were a bit of a stretch, really) into a single paragraph and I removed ASL. While I geek out on sign languages the paragraph in there was basically a long-winded way of saying that ASL doesn't make a clusivity distinction, but that you could communicate the meaning in other ways. Well, duh. That's true of any language, I expect. I think it would be nice if we could give an example of a sign language that does express a clusivity distinction (i.e. has different signs for incl & excl we). Does anyone know of one? Eniagrom (talk) 00:54, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
More bold changes. I went ahead and moved all the vocabulary examples from various languages into a table. This really only left a few things: the (admittedly interesting) attestation of a limited and weak clusivity distinction between "let's" and "let us", which after some thought and review on the talk page elided but would not be opposed to reintroducing with better supporting references, and the various european language examples that basically were just variations on "but but but in my language you can express clusivity semantically in a roundabout way," which should be true in any language without the distinction, and so I trimmed that further. Overall this greatly reduces the size of the section and makes the article an easier read. Your feedback is appreciated. Eniagrom (talk) 19:11, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Second person clusivity[edit]

No instances of "you and someone I am currently not addressing"? Think you need to take that with a grain of salt. If you want the truth, I think you have to consider statements regarding generalities as indicating the +2+3. KhyranLeander (talk) 08:07, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

The question of whether or not a second person clusivity distinction could exist is interesting, but because this is WP and not a linguistics journal we don't get to theorize, only report what others have said. See WP:OR. As of right now the main candidate example for a language exhibiting second person clusivity is Southeast Ambrym, but Horst Simon examined the data and pretty thoroughly debunked that example in his 2005 paper. Some linguists interpret the lack of second person clusivity when first person clusivity is so common as a sign that second person clusivity doesn't exist in our hard-wired "universal grammar", i.e. is not a feature that can appear in human speech. John Henderson is the given example of this perspective in the article. Whether or not his is the right position is an interesting thing to think about but all we can do is report of what others are saying here, not draw our own conclusions. Eniagrom (talk) 23:02, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

By the way, while it's not anything formalized, how would the use of 'we' as 'not actually including me' be codified? You know, like wife to husband "I think we need to do something about Junior." Or as said by the brat-of-the-owner manager "I know it's been busy, but we need to buckle down and work harder." Maybe +2-1? KhyranLeander (talk) 08:07, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

What you are describing is idiomatic usage in one language, English. What this article is about is a wide-spread grammatical phenomenon, clusivity. The whole point of a boss saying "I think we need to work harder" when he really means "I think everyone but me needs to work harder" is that he is pretending he is going to work too. If this were a grammatically encoded category there would be languages out there where a boss would, instead of "we", use a different pronoun that expressly excludes him. Obviously that defeats the purpose here. This is a roundabout way of saying that your above example is not an example of a clusivity-like distinction and doesn't have anything to do with the subject of this article. Eniagrom (talk) 23:02, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't these be examples?
A prejudiced person might be acquainted with one member of a group, who doesn't fit the preconceived notions regarding that group. So the prejudiced person might say, "All you (members of that group) are a bunch of troublemakers--except for you, of course, you're different." The word you would be replaced by a different pronoun.
The announcer on a TV show might use the "clusive you pronoun" when saying, "after the commercial break you will see an interview..." The announcer acknowledges that not all viewers might be sticking around for the interview.
Someone giving a speech to a graduating class might say in English, "Some of you are graduating and about to enter the workforce..." In another language, a different pronoun might be used because not all members of the audience are graduates.
In college, a coed had a boyfriend who had the same first name I have. We were in a group, talking about various things, and she happened to mention her boyfriend by name. Then she turned to me and said, "Not you-Steve, him-Steve." That was an interesting turn of phrase. In another language, she might have appended a clusive-you suffix--maybe one suffix to "you-Steve" and a different suffix to "him-Steve".

Aren't these valid examples? (talk) 20:01, 15 July 2012 (UTC)NotWillRiker

These are interesting examples, but they do not reflect a morphological category. They are all examples of clarification or disambiguation, but they do not represent a morphological category in English. Pete unseth (talk) 01:48, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Clusivity in the singular[edit]

Tongan, and I'd assume the other Polynesian languages, has inclusivity/exclusivity in the singular as well as the plural:

u, ou, ku, au: exclusive singular (="I" or "me," depending on context): form used depends on what preposition or tense marker precedes, but has nothing to do with clusivity
kita: inclusive singular (="I" or "me," as above, but only if the statement could be equally true for someone else; fortunately, AFAIK, used only in some proverbs)
ma (dual), mau (plural), etc.: exclusive plural (="we," not including person(s) addressed)
ta (dual), tau (plural), etc.: inclusive plural (="we," including at least one person addressed)

Anyone with more complete and/or accurate information about this, whether in Tongan or other languages, is kindly invited to enlighten us. (talk) 15:27, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Clusivity is a plural distinction, and cannot be expressed in the singular. The fact that the inclusive and exclusive pronouns may be plural forms of different words for "I" that are both used in the language is actually very common, and is treated in the second paragraph of the "Morphology" section. The important thing to get here is that if a first person pronoun pluralizes to inclusive we that doesn't make that first person pronoun somehow inherently inclusive, because inclusivity only means something if you have more than one person. Hope this helps. Eniagrom (talk) 22:52, 15 September 2010 (UTC)


In the morphology section this article currently states "In Mandarin Chinese, for example, exclusive wǒ-men is the plural form of singular "I", while inclusive zán-men is a separate root." But my native-speaking contact tells me that wǒmen can be either inclusive or exclusive, and zánmen is an informal inclusive. Langenscheidt's Pocket Dictionary Chinese gives an example of inclusive use: wǒmen bié chǎole "let's not argue". And Charles N. Li and Sandra A. Thomson, Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar (1989) gives these examples: wǒmen dǎsuàn zuò shénme ne? "We plan do what?", "What should we plan to do?" (p. 660) and lái, wǒmen huá "come, we play", "come, let's play" (p. 674). So I'm changing the text to reflect this, and to delete the inappropriate hyphens. (talk) 14:16, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

My textbook Integrated Chinese also holds the same view. 我们 is inclusive and exclusive. 咱们 is inclusive only, but informal. Tony (talk) 03:46, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
The clusivity distinction is mainly made in northern dialects -- notably Beijing dialect, which is the prestige dialect of the PRC -- in which case the difference between 我們 and 咱們 is strictly adhered to and the former is never inclusive. Southern speakers of Chinese do not make this distinction, and never use 咱們 at all. This has a lot to do with the fact that outside of northern China, most people do not speak Mandarin at home and have difficulty with distinctions that don't exist in their own languages (another common one here is 你 vs 您 -- very few non-northern speakers of Chinese actually employ a T-V distinction in their own speech, even if they understand conceptually what the difference is supposed to be.)
As a speaker of Mandarin that makes the distinction strongly, I object to a few obvious non-speakers looking at their books and deciding that the distinction doesn't exist. So I've reverted it.Eniagrom (talk) 06:05, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Eniagrom. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, so every contested assertion has to be backed up by a literature citation. In this case, you have given no citation for the alleged distinction, whereas the above comments give three authoritative citations written by native-speaking scholars saying that wǒmen is used either way. Also, you say you object to "obvious non-speakers". But you yourself are a non-native-speaker according to your own talk page; my native-speaking contact disagrees with you, as do the native speakers who wrote those books. If you want your version to be in there, you need to find a source that backs it up; if you find one and put it in, you still need to qualify the assertion by saying "some dialects of Mandarin" rather than just "Mandarin". :) (talk) 15:22, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
P.S. The Wikipedia article Ode to the Motherland gives the lyrics of this patriotic song -- the word wǒmen appears at least 18 times, and it's inconceivable that all these uses are intended to exclude the listener as an outsider. Also, I tried my best to find a source via google that says that wǒmen is exclusive only, but in vain. (talk) 15:57, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I asked a friend of mine, born and raised in Beijin, and he said 我们 is both inclusive and exclusive, and both formal and informal. 咱们 is inclusive-only and informal-only. I noted my textbook because it seemed contrary to what was in the article. I did not modify anything because I am not competent. Tony (talk) 18:09, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
It might be a conflict between the standard and local dialect. 我们 is used in both, and in the standard it does not make the distinction, whereas 我们 is only found in the local dialect and is therefore only inclusive. I suspect that in Beijing dialect not influenced by the standard, 我们 would be only exclusive. — kwami (talk) 19:03, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Clusivity in North American languages[edit]

Why is there no mention of the native languages of North America (e.g. Algonquian or Iroquoian), which also have clusivity distinctions? (It appears to be a common feature of the much older/isolated languages in general.) Gordon P. Hemsley 03:10, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

There is a passing mention, in the Clusivity#Distribution of the clusivity distinction section. It says "In America it is found in about half the languages, with no clear geographic or genealogical pattern.", although this could do with a cite. There are a few specific examples from Amerindian languages in the table, also. The Clusivity#Distinction in verbs section prominently features an Algonquian language as an example.
The problem fundamentally is that the clusivity distinction is extremely common, and there's not really much more to say about it other than "language X has it". Your statement that "It appears to be a common feature of the much older/isolated languages in general" needs to be made more precise (What do you mean by older? What does isolated mean? Do you mean isolating language or language isolate?) To my knowledge, there is no particular pattern to clusivity, but I would definitely be interested in a typological analysis of the feature (I'm just not qualified to write it).
We had a bit of a problem in an earlier version of the article where people came in and wrote (in different ways) "Language X has the distinction, it's words for we and I are ..." and this whole section grew to dominate the article without being very useful. The table we have now was the compromise. I honestly think the table should be deleted completely because WP is not a dictionary, and specific examples add nothing to the article at all, but I realize that since English doesn't have a clusivity distinction people are intrigued by the feature and will come in and add examples regardless, and this way at least they're contained and can be hidden by the reader. Eniagrom (talk) 10:00, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Per WP:SCICITE Wikipedia articles like this should have examples. How many is a different question. Tijfo098 (talk) 11:34, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
I separated the inclusive and exclusive translations of "we" at wikt, and linked from here. We can copy over examples that aren't useful. — kwami (talk) 02:50, 16 July 2012 (UTC)


Recently User:Universal Life added these two as examples in the second paragraph of the lede, which I reverted.

My revert was then reverted by User:Pete_unseth, without explanation. However, his rework of the lede sentence (namely the introduction of the word "other" before European) suggests to me that he considers the additions relevant because the article previously stated that no European language exhibits a clusivity distinction.

I agree that this would be an interesting and perhaps noteworthy addition, since this is the English wikipedia and clusivity distinctions are indeed conspicuously absent from the entire Indo-European macrophylum.

However, I have been unable to corroborate the claim that Judeo-Spanish (i.e. Ladino) actually makes the clusivity distinction. All on-line grammars I have seen make no mention of this.

Furthermore, even if the inclusion of Ladino as the lone exception to the European no clusivity distinction rule might be noteworthy, there is nothing noteworthy about Turkish, as Turkish is a non-European language, even if Turkey itself might be considered politically European. There are tons of non-European languages in the list that are not referenced in the lede. To make matters even worse, the question of the relationship between biz and bizler in Turkish and in other Turkic languages is far from clearly one of clusivity (see e.g. [2]). Even allowing that biz and bizler may be a clusivity distinction, we would expect languages in the lede paragraphs to be unambiguous and uncontroversial examples of the feature.

So, what I would like to see is: 1) a source that the use of mosos as an exclusive form in Ladino is in fact widespread, that mozotros is understood to be explicitly inclusive, and 2) the removal of Turkish from the lede.

But I am not going to edit war over this issue so I'm just going to comment here.Eniagrom (talk) 18:28, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

How in the world do you get a 2nd-person exclusive? — kwami (talk) 19:16, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Turkish is European. But Clusivity p. 354 specifically says Turkic languages do not have clusivity. — kwami (talk) 19:25, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Turkish is Indo-European? I thought it was Turkic, or possibly Altaic. It certainly is fairly agglutinating typologically speaking to be an Indo-European language.Eniagrom (talk) 19:32, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
No. "European".
Europeans did not recognize clusivity until the Spanish Conquest of South America. Doesn't mean it's absent from Ladino, but I'd like to see a RS. — kwami (talk) 19:37, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi guys, I am quite well-versed in both languages as Turkish is my mother tongue and Judaeo-Spanish is my semi-mother tongue. After reading the clusivity article and comprehending it properly, I have immediately realised the use of biz and bizler in Turkish as well as the same distinction in Judaeo-Spanish. A very little search on google gave me this result, where it explains and examines inclusive and exclusive personal pronouns in Turkish and other Turkic languages. (And yes, generally speaking Turkish is not considered part of the Indo-European languages, it is Turkic and Altaic indeed...However I think that the term any European language is rather quite vague and ambiguous as well, as any language could be basically spoken in Europe but not included in the European branch of the Indo-European languages.)
Coming to Judaeo-Spanish / Ladino, the use of mosós and mosotros seem to exist basically in the Turkish dialects of the language (though I am not certain of it) the Dictionary of Nehama (Dictionnaire du Judéo-Espagnol, Joseph Nehama - a dictionary of Salonika dialect) doesn't contain the word mosós. However the Manual of Judeo-Spanish, by Marie-Christine Varol says that in Turkey, mosós is much more used than mosotros and she gives the mosós form as the main form for we (although she spells it as mozós - note that there is no fixed orthography yet for the language, the English edition of her book uses a different spelling for the language than the original French edition, so that the Anglophones could read more easily.) She doesn't go on and explain the differences between the two pronouns, it is quite obvious that the creation of mosós (mos+s) is influenced by the Turkish bizler (biz+ler) as their use are quite similar as well. It would be only a lack of proper knowledge if we didn't include them in the article. --Universal Life (talk) 21:56, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
That's interesting, and it makes sense. It would be nice if we could find a good account of what the difference is so we could add it to the Turkish-grammar article. — kwami (talk) 01:03, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
You restored your additions "as explained on the talk page", but the source you provide states that Turkic languages do *not* have clusivity. — kwami (talk) 20:09, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
I have checked again the source and it clearly explains in multiple pages, diferent sorts of clusivities, like the augmented inclusive etc. in Turkic languages. Moroever, it cites authors way back to the 1930s till the modern times, saying which pronouns are exclusive/inclusive in which Turkic language. There are some confusing usages in some limited linguistic expressions and may be you have misread it as if Turkic languages do not have clusivity. So, go on and check again. I assure you, Turkic languages do have clusivity. --Universal Life (talk) 22:13, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, there's a source from 1936 that does claim this, but more recent sources contradict it. Your ref says the diff between biz and bizler "is not easy to grasp", that the plural -ler (on nouns and pronouns) tends to indicate "individuated plurality", and that bizler is "often used to denote an isolated group of people who want to oppose themselves to the others" ('people like us', often with an ironic reading), that people say sen-in-le and sen-siz, as in English, to differentiate 'us with you' from 'us without you', and she concludes that biz and bizler "are not opposed as inclusive versus exclusive". — kwami (talk) 22:29, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Have you looked at other sources on Turkic? such as: "Inclusive and exclusive forms in the Turkic imperative paradigms" by Irina Nevskaya. Also, p. 354, of Clusivity: Typology and Case Studies of Inclusive-exclusive Distinction

edited by Elena Filimonova.

Ok Kwami, I have read almost the entire source and I have gone through some other sources as well...It seems that we were both correct. In Turkish biz and bizler do not one-to-one correlate with inclusive and exclusive forms. It is so, because such over-expressive pronouns express more than simple clusivity:

  • Biz is a non-clusive pronoun. In simple sentences it tends to give either a non-clusive or an inclusive connotation. However, only in case of some special syntax it can give an exclusive meaning.
  • Bizler has multiple uses. It is used:
    1. Where the speaker wishes to individuate the members of a group, similar to each of us, all of the conceived group as a whole, identifying with him/herself.
    2. For referring to multiple groups of persons. In this case the contrast bizler vs. sizler - "us guys" vs. "you guys" often arises. This use of the pronoun exhibits an exclusive semantics as such the bizler (we guys) doesn't include the addressee, the addressee being part of the sizler (you guys) group.
    3. When talking to a person with whom one uses the formal siz, to indicate that one is referring to a group that the person belongs to (e.g. his/her family or friends, etc.), and not to that person alone; then sizler is used. Bizler may be used in response or in the same context of conversation. This also corresponds partially a case of shifted references of personal pronouns in contexts of evasiveness and/or depersonalisation.
    4. When using as resumptive pronouns.

So, as we see, they do not fit one-to-one on clusivity, however they do express clusivity.

Irina Nevskaya, in her conclusion expresses basically only the first use of bizler, even though in her examples she denotes that it expresses clusivity.

In the spoken and written (Şalom, El Amaneser newspapers) of Judaeo-Spanish, the second (expressing clusivity) use of bizler and sizler are expressed through mosós and vosós, and it's the most used meaning of these two pronouns. They also use the first meaning above, mainly in the spoken language, however do not make use of the third and the forth meanings.

Finally, Nevskaya denotes in her conclusion that Turkic languages do express clusivity; clusivity doesn't need to be exclusively expressed through pronouns, verbal suffixes deriving from old pronominal roots can also imply it. There are examples from numerous authors, including Clark, Dobrushina, Goussev, Patacakova, Anderson, Erdal, Nasilov, Grönbech, Ubrjatova and Isxakov, that express clusivity in Turkic languages.

My sources for the informations above are:

  • Türkçenin Grameri, Tahsin Banguoğlu, 1986 (The First Grammar Book of Modern Turkish) - This source explains rather the grammatical formation and the first meaning above of bizler and sizler, and that biz and siz are originally dual (minimal inclusive) forms that came to mean simply plurals. And calls bizler and sizler as double plurals.
  • Evasiveness and Depersonalization, A dissertation thesis for the University of Groningen - This source mainly explains a case of shifted references of personal pronouns, speaks about sex education in groups of different backgrounds and gives examples of the second and third (mainly) meanings above.
  • Turkish: A Comprehensive Grammar, by Aslı Göksel and Celia Kerslake, 2005 - This source explains four of the above-mentioned meaning with examples.

With respect, --Universal Life (talk) 00:46, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

In other words, they don't make this distinction grammatically. Every language is capable of expressing this in one way or another, but Turkic languages do not appear to have a grammatical 1INCL–1EXCL distinction like the other languages we discuss, any more than English with its "us guys" vs "you guys" does. They would be a good example of how languages which do not have grammatical clusivity handle the distinction, but we shouldn't claim they have clusivity. — kwami (talk) 02:38, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Dear Kwami, look again to what I wrote, especially the last paragraph...How to explain this to you in other terms? In most Turkic languages (may be in all of them) you do not express personal pronouns, unless you need emphasise it. It is just like Spanish. You say caminas - it means you walk, the -as at the end makes it clear that it is second person singular. In the same way camino - "I walk", caminamos - we walk etc. You still have the same suffix for, let's say the same person and can change the time. For example, vemos - "we see", vimos - "we saw", veremos- "we will see" etc. The same goes for Turkic languages. So, Nevskaya and many others determined that a lot of Turkic languages (but not Turkish) express clusivity this way, that's by using different "we" suffixes for different degrees of clusivity, on a one-to-one basis (such as -alı/-eli or -aq/ek, in Modern Turkish, these suffixes are just dialectical variations but not for other Turkic languages!). That's, some Turkic languages have one form for general inclusive and one form for general exclusive, while other Turkic languages have one for general exclusive, one for minimal inclusive (dual) and one for augmented inclusive. Turkish language do not express clusivity this way, however it is not the only Turkic language in the world you know. Other Turkic languages, especially Eastern Turkic languages bountifully express one-to-one clusivity, grammatically...This is the opinion of Nevskaya and many other researchers, not mine. So, if you still disagree, discuss first please..if not it feels like an edit war and I don't like warring at all. Friendly, --Universal Life (talk) 10:28, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
With respect, your sources do not support your claim. It's sort of weird to hear you claim that they do. Now you're back-pedaling and saying that some unnamed Turkic languages have a clusivity distinction, but you agree that Turkish doesn't. However, all your sources discuss Turkish.
There are two issues here. One is the inclusion of the blurb "Turkic languages" or "Turkish" in the lede. The lede paragraphs summarize the entire article and underscore the most important points of the article to enable a casual reader to get a good understanding of the article subject without necessarily getting into all the gory details. In my opinion, Turkish and Turkic languages do not represent a clear and unambiguous example of the clusivity distinction and so do not belong in the lede. That does not mean we cannot discuss them elsewhere.
Then there's the more specific question of the accuracy of your claim. You claim that some unnamed Turkic languages have a clusivity distinction, but that is not enough information. Please provide a specific example of a Turkic language that does exhibit a clusivity distinction, and provide a reliable source that states unambiguously that that is the case. Otherwise, you're just hand-waving. Like kwami I have looked at your sources and do not find them convincing. At best they say that the notion of clusivity can be communicated in Turkish, but as kwami indicated this is not the same as a clusivity distinction. The article already makes this point when it says that the fact that "the rest of us" is an inherently exclusive construction in English does not imply that English has a clusivity distinction, only that clusivity can be expressed in a round-about manner, or through the use of fixed idioms. A language that exhibits clusivity *forces* the speaker to choose between exclusive and inclusive we. Turkish does not do this. It is a poor example. I am removing it from the lede until you provide more adequate sourcing.Eniagrom (talk) 17:07, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
To make that point, I added "grammatical" to "distinction" in the first sentence. — kwami (talk) 21:43, 8 December 2013 (UTC)


Recently a modification by an anonymous IP to the Kannada language entry in the Clusivity examples table came up on my watchlist. Looking at his contributions, previous vandalism made me suspicious of the edit, although there were also GF additions to Kannada-related subjects and it could be a dynamic IP. Anyway, I don't speak Kannada, so I just ran the word he added (ನಂದೇ) through Google translate, which returned "promised me" as its meaning. The word we already had, "ನಮ್ಮ", was translated as "our", which seems closer to what one might expect. But Google translate is pretty crappy for non-European languages and I was unsure about whether I should revert or not.

But then, looking at the entry, I saw this:

The exclusive form is no longer used in most dialects. Kannada is the only Dravidian language to have lost its clusivity distinction.

And so the whole subject became moot: if Kannada is indeed the only Dravidian language to have lost its clusivity distinction, why on earth is included in an already too-long table? So I removed it.Eniagrom (talk) 08:19, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

Object Pronoun and Possessive Clusivity[edit]

There seems to be no discussion of inclusive and exclusive object pronoun forms - the "us" form in English or of the possessive forms "our" and "ours". I presume that these can also be marked for clusivity. Shouldn't these also be included in this article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:32, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

What you're describing is a distinction of case, which is not really related to the existence of a clusivity distinction as such. One would expect a language which distinguishes both case and clusivity to mark the clusivity distinction as appropriate on the various declensions of its pronouns. That said if you would like to expand the article, please do.Eniagrom (talk) 14:52, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

First described and documented in 1560[edit]

User:Pete unseth recently added a bit to the lede about how the inclusive/exclusive distinction was first documented by a Spanish friar in 1560. This badly needs a source and to me seems highly dubious. The inclusive/exclusive distinction is, as the article points out, extremely widespread, and notably common in regions of the world that have a long literary history. For example, Manchu most likely had a clusivity distiction and Vietnamese has one -- are we sure that no Chinese grammarians commented on this before 1560? What about grammarians from the Indian subcontinent, where languages featuring the distinction are numerous, and written and scientific history extends quite far back? (For example: Tolkāppiyam is a Tamil grammar dating from at the latest the 10th century, and Tamil has a clusivity distinction.)

It just doesn't seem likely, frankly. That Friar Domingo de Santo Tomas' account is an early European account seems quite self-evident, but even to say that it was the first seems uncertain. After all, European missionaries were out and about before 1560 and, as previously noted, clusivity distinctions are extremely common in the world's languages.

So that's the first bit. It's unsourced and it doesn't seem right.

But then there's also the placement. Assuming for the sake of argument that the claim is true and that we can source it adequately, is it important enough to belong in the lede? I'm not entirely sure it's really key. After all, the clusivity distinction appears to be a common feature of human language and certainly was widespread before someone thought to write about it, so it's not like the Friar's account of it in Peru had any kind of particularly important impact on things. It certainly deserves a mention (again, if it's true) but I would prefer that it be placed elsewhere than the lede.

Anyway let's worry about that bit once we have a source. I'll look around as well but if we can't get it sourced in a few days time I'm going to revert it unless there's some meaningful discussion going on. Thanks Eniagrom (talk) 17:09, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Eniagrom was right to point out that I had not cited an source with the statement that a Spanish priest first described the inclusive/exclusive distinction for the wider world. I am including a source, now. But the question of where this information fits within the article is a topic I will not dispute.Pete unseth (talk) 18:15, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Hi Pete thanks for your prompt reply and sourcing. I have read the article you cite by Mary Haas (a Google Books copy is available here for now). It is very interesting and there is much I think we can add to the article from it.
Having said that, the article very clearly deals with European linguistics, not linguistics in general. It deals (in delightful detail) with the evolution of the terms "inclusive" and "exclusive" in linguistic tradition; it does not at any time say that Friar Domingo de Santo Tomas' account is the first, it is merely the oldest that particular article can find. So unfortunately I do not think your source actually supports what you are saying, which is that de Santo Tomas' account was the first.
And, as I said, I find this to be very unlikely. Since Tamil has an active clusivity distinction and written grammars for that language go back quite far, it seems highly unlikely that other linguistic traditions (in this case Indian traditions) would never have commented on the distinction between inclusive and exclusive. It simply doesn't pass the smell test.
To that end, I would suggest that we change the wording to indicate that de Santo Tomas' account is possibly the earliest attested account of the inclusive/exclusive distinction as such by a European linguist. To be concrete: we a) specify a European linguist and b) do not say that it was in fact the earliest account, since the source does not say that. Also, even in your source, Mary Hass notes that de Santo Tomas does not actually use the terms "inclusive" and "exclusive" in the modern way, which is the primary interest of her article -- rather he describes them in verbal terms, as forms which exclude or include, rather than inclusive or exclusive per se.
What do you think? Eniagrom (talk) 07:13, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
I like respectful, quiet discussions. Some other editors could learn a lot here! I have altered the text, trying to meet the goals you set out. If I have failed, please tweak it.
Until there is a documented example of an earlier description of inclusive-exclusive, an article can still say something like "The earliest known..." or "The earliest example yet known..." Until a specific example is found, from Tamil or other, then Santo Tomas is still the earliest known. You may also be interested in an article by Bruce Mannheim on other early descriptions of incl-excl, in the same journal as Haas', 1982, vol. 48, pp. 450-459. Irenically, Pete unseth (talk) 13:38, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
That's perfect Pete, thanks for the edit. I think it would be nice some time in the future to use this source (and perhaps the other you mention, which I haven't looked at yet) to fledge out a "History" section or something like it. There's a surprising amount of info in that Haas article that we don't really touch on at all. Thanks again! Eniagrom (talk) 21:29, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Improve table aesthetic[edit]

Could someone improve the table alignment? I didn't manage to find a more aesthetic one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:E35:8A8D:FE80:707B:69EF:9981:55D (talk) 09:20, 3 May 2017 (UTC)