Marking versus indexing: Revisiting the Nichols marking-locus typology

Nicholas Evans, Eva Fenwick

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    In this article, we build on Johanna Nichols’s influential typological distinction between head and dependent marking by supplementing it with a further dimension, that of indexing. We focus on possessive constructions. Whereas marking indicates where morphology about a relationship goes, indexing indicates which syntactic entity the morphology provides information about. We show that, in principle, the two parameters of marking and indexing are logically independent and that for each marking type any indexing option is possible. Passing to an onto-probe of 138 languages, we find that most logically possible combinations are attested, apart from some cases in which the complexity of the combinations required may make instantiations so rare that their absences are likely to be accidental gaps.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLanguage Typology and Historical Contingency: In honor of Johanna Nichols
    Editors B Bickel, L A Grenoble, D A Peterson & A Timberlake
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam and Philadelphia
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    ISBN (Print)9789027206855
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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