I liked Tournadre's paper "Arguments against the Concept of
‘Conjunct’/‘Disjunct’ in Tibetan"
on this subject when I read it a few months ago. He starts by discussing
older approaches to the system found in Tibetan but later introduces his
own terminology of egophoricity. I like this terminology myself since it
fits well for the distinction that's made between direct personal access to
information vs. second hand knowledge accessed through report or

The Tibetan area and its surroundings are the largest concentration of
languages that use egophoric marking. Tibetan and Newar are the best known
examples but you'll find egophoric marking also in some languages of the
Qiangic branch as well as the Mongolic languages of Qinghai. Outside of the
areas surrounding the Himalayas egophoric paradigms have been found from
some Papuan languages (Oksapmin, Foe etc.), in the Caucasus (Akhvakh) and
in the Barbacoan languages that Jan mentioned. I've got the feeling that
these systems aren't that well known among people not working with
Tibeto-Burman or Mongolic languages so I wouldn't be surprised if more keep
popping up when more research is done.

It's still something that people do put into their conlangs, though. I
decided to include egophoricity into one of my languages early this year
and as a result notices that I wasn't by any means the only one playing
with the concept. For the record, I ended up with a three way evidential
split between egophoric, direct observed, and indirect sources of
information plus no person marking in the language. There's some
disagreement between viewpoints considering egophoric forms as ultimately
evidentiality or a special form of person marking but I tend to favour the
evidential interpretation. I can't remember if I've ever seen egophoricity
mixed with regular person marking, but I also can't think of any reason why
such combined paradigms couldn't exist.


2016-07-06 2:31 GMT+03:00 Siva Kalyan <[log in to unmask]>:

> Likewise in Japanese and (I believe) Tibetan, the distinction is found in
> verbal agreement but not in pronouns.
> Siva
> > On 6 Jul 2016, at 1:48 AM, Jan Strasser <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > ANADEW (more or less): Jeff's K and L person distinction is attested in
> the Barbacoan languages of South America, although not in pronouns, but in
> verbal agreement. See
> (pages 3-12 / 9-18 of that PDF).
> >
> > -- Jan
> >
> >> On 4 July 2016 at 02:49, J S Jones <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>> > On Mon, 4 Jul 2016 13:16:29 +0530, Decremental Bug <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>>>> >>>
> >>>>> >>> Pronouns
> >>>>> >>> Pronouns most often appear as complete phrases, in which case
> they're
> >>>>> >>> proclitic; the form is C or Ce. A pronoun can also appear as a
> phrase
> >>>>> >>> modifier in the Ci form (other forms are possible). The pronouns
> are:
> >>>>> >>>  1. k   j       K-person
> >>>>> >>>  2. l   l       L-person
> >>>>> >>>  3. m   m       M-person (= inclusive person)
> >>>>> >>>  4. p   p       3rd person, most recent "possessor"
> >>>>> >>>  5. s   x       3rd person, most recent "subject"
> >>>>> >>>  6. c   g       3rd person, cataphoric
> >>>>> >>>  7. q   z       content question
> >>>>> >>>  8. o   q       unspecified
> >>>> >>
> >>>> >>I didn't know there were alternative systems of pronouns ! But I
> don't
> >>>> >>understand how this works. Any link to a detailed explanation or
> usage in
> >>>> >>other languages ?
> >>>> >>
> >>>> >>Thanks,
> >>>> >>Davneet.
> >>>> >>
> >>> >
> >>> > K/L pronouns are something I invented, or at least the terminology,
> for a non-naturalistic project. Tibetan is supposed to do something similar
> but I've never pinned that down. Inclusive person (M or N) is used in a
> whole bunch of languages, although it's usually classified as 1st person
> inclusive dual/plural. Here's what I wrote for another sketch called K4:
> >>> >
> >>> > "K4 doesn't make the conventional 1st and 2nd person distinction;
> instead it makes a distinction between knower and learner. The knower, or K
> person, refers to the speaker(s) in statements but to the addressee(s) in
> questions and commands, while the learner, or L person, refers to the
> addressee(s) in statements but to the speaker(s) in questions and commands.
> Both K and L persons distinguish singular and plural. Note that "speakers"
> and "addressees", when plural, may include associated persons, but are
> mutually exclusive. There's also an inclusive, or N person, that refers to
> the speakers and addressees together and is only plural."
> >> I came up with a similar system once where the words for first/second
> >> person references derive from "speaker"/"writer" and
> >> "hearer"/"reader", potentially with further distinctions between
> >> "hearer" and "listener", implying whether you believe your addressee
> >> to actually be paying attention.
> >>
> >> Never made any use of it, though, so it's cool to see someone else
> >> doing something similar.
> >>