An unattested person alignment u̱t‑Maꞌin with possible logophoric function


u̱t‑Maꞌin (Kainji, Benue-Congo) does not have dedicated logophoric pronouns. In fact, if you only analyzed some speech reports, you might dismiss u̱t‑Maꞌin as a categorically non-logophoric language (Culy, 1994). In many narratives, the reported speaker (RS) is referenced within the speech report by the 1SG pronoun, ɘ̄m, and the reported addressee (RA) by the 2SG pronoun, bɔ̄, just as in a non-speech-report. However, in one narrative text both 2SG and 3SG pronouns are used to reference the same RA, within a reported speech event. The RS is referenced by the 1SG pronoun ɘ̄m as we expect, but the RA is referenced by a 3SG form wá ‘C1.OBJ’. (There is ambiguity in translation when encountering these 3SG forms in a speech report.) This use of 1SG for RS and 3SG for RA within a speech report is unattested by Nikitina’s (2012: 256) typology of person alignment. This study examines the distribution of RS and RA pronouns in a corpus of u̱t‑Maꞌin narrative spoken texts in an effort to understand the extent of this unattested person alignment and what motivates the shift in pronouns between 2SG and 3SG for RAs.

22 Sep, 2021 — 24 Sep, 2021
Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”

Note: Originally scheduled for 23‑25 September 2020; postponed due to Covid-19.


Culy (1994)
(). Aspects of logophoric marking. Linguistics, 32(6). 1055–1094.
Nikitina (2012)
(). Personal deixis and reported discourse: Towards a typology of person alignment. Linguistic Typology, 16(2). 233–263.
Yohanna & Paterson (2013)
& (). The Gossip King // Faru̱k u̱ ke̱t-u̱ ne̱t-u̱t wa u̱s-rem. Retrieved from
Yohanna & Paterson (2013)
& (). Musa and Audu // Musa ne̱ Audu. Retrieved from
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Rebecca Paterson
Rebecca Paterson
Postdoctoral Researcher

My research interests include field linguistics, grammatical description, and translation.