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Indexing and flagging, and head and dependent marking

Authors: Haspelmath, Martin;

Indexing and flagging, and head and dependent marking

Abstract

This paper compares the concept pair indexing/flagging with the well-known concept pair head/dependent marking that is widely used in typology. It shows that a general concept of flagging (comprising case and adpositional marking) is needed, and it sketches the advantages of the indexing concept over the older idea of “person agreement”. It then points out that the notions of head and dependent are hard to define (apart from the two basic domains of clauses and nominals), and that the head/dependent marking typology does not take the function of syntactic relation markers into account. On a functional view, both flags and indexes can be seen as role-identifiers, as opposed to concordants (attributive agreement markers). After discussing three further issues with the head/dependent marking typology, involving construct markers, concordants, and cross-indexes, I conclude that the concept pair indexing/flagging is more suitable for typological purposes than head/dependent marking.

1 Comparative concepts for cross-linguistic grammatical comparison 2 Some examples of argument marking by flagging and indexing 3 Flags: Case-markers and/or adpositions 4 Indexing: Bound person markers 5 Head and dependent marking 6 Indexing/flagging does not require the abstract categories “head” and “dependent” 7 The function of syntactic relation markers 8 Indexing does not include construct markers 9 Flagging does not include concordants 10 The notion of indexing solves a serious problem with head marking 11 Conclusion

Related Organizations
Keywords

adpositions | argument indexing | case marking | dependent marking | flagging | head marking | language typology

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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
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popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
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This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
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impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
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