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Formal and Functional Differences between Differential Object Marking and Differential R Marking: Unity or Disunity?

DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2011.11001    3,377 Downloads   7,215 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

A number of studies (see e.g. Bossong, 1985; Aissen, 2003 and Næss, 2003) have shown that the marking of objects is influenced by animacy and definiteness. The effects of animacy are not confined to the marking of direct objects only, but the marking of Recipients/Goals is also determined by animacy in many languages. The phenomenon is labeled as Differential R/Goal Marking (DRM) by Haspelmath (2005) and Kittilä (2008). Even though both DOM and DRM are governed by animacy (and also definiteness), the two phenomena display both formal and functional differences. For example, disambiguation, which can be claimed to be the triggering factor of DOM in many languages, is clearly less relevant to DRM. These formal and functional differences between DOM and DRM will be discussed in this paper. The problem will be studied in light of three formal and four functional features. In light of the discussed features, it will be shown that DOM and DRM should not be seen as a uniform phenomenon, but they display evident differences.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Kittilä, S. (2011). Formal and Functional Differences between Differential Object Marking and Differential R Marking: Unity or Disunity?. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 1, 1-8. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2011.11001.

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