A Study on the Behavior of Cebuano Pronouns in Discourse

Michael Tanangkingsing

Michael Tanangkingsing

By Michael Tanangkingsing
National Taipei University of Technology

Concentric: Studies in Linguistics, May 2013


Sometimes reference grammars are limited in space and time and thus cannot always describe some given aspects of a language very accurately. Linguistics studies certainly help to fill this gap. Using narrative and conversational data, this paper attempts to accomplish this and aims to contribute to Cebuano linguistics and the study of pronouns by looking at two phenomena involving pronominal expressions in Cebuano discourse. First, I will show that two third-person pronouns never co-occur in the same clause. In transitive clauses with two human participants, only one will be referred to using a pronominal form; the other one will either be in zero form, if more topical, or in lexical form, if less topical. Second, I will investigate the factors that lead to a choice between the genitive form and the possessive form in expressing the Actor participant in a transitive event clause, identified as definiteness, verb type, and structure of the verb complex. The use of a possessive form will involve the pre-posing of the pronoun form to a pre-verb slot, which may also be a factor that contributes to word order change.

Key words: Cebuano, pronoun, discourse, definiteness

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