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10 Indefinite Proforms

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Chapter Summary

Indefinite proforms are words that are used to refer to non-identifiable referents. All are listed in the form of "Table" and are treated separately in various sections. The indefinite proform 'any, whichever, whatever' modifies postposed nouns with any semantic role with a more restricted use. The indefinite 'to wherever' replaces a direction adjunct. These indefinite proforms (something, somewhere, someone) are all derived from their respective interrogatives by means of the indefinite phrasal enclitic. The relational/derelational/attributive/adverbial morpheme has many functions, some of which are more productive than others. None of these seem to fit the lexeme 'whoever' very well. The proform 'anybody' is opaque for speakers of Atong, the indefinite enclitic is easily recognized. The proform is composed of the lexeme 'all, everything, everybody' and the mobilitative enclitic making this a transparent lexeme meaning 'everywhere'. This proform refers to both a location and a direction depending on the verb.

Keywords: Atong; indefinite proforms; phrasal enclitic; semantic role

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