Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session




From the introduction, "In Cheyenne, as in other Algonquian languages, when two or more third-person nominals are in the same sentence or "contextual span" (Wolfart 1973:17), one of the nominals must be treated as "nearer" or more "in focus" than the other third-person nominal(s). The nearer person is called the "proximate" form while any other(s) is said to be "obviate" (sometimes called a "fourth-person"). The proximate nominal can function as the "topic" of a discourse segment, or "the person earlier spoken of and already known" (Bloomfield 1962:38). The marking of one or more nominals as obviates is called "obviation".

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