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This paper explores the relationship between the system of pronominal reference and the transitivity of clauses in discourse in the Galela language of North Halmahera. I show that the deletion of a pronominal verb prefix correlates with decreased clause transitivity, and thus with greater backgroundedness. Furthermore, I suggest that at very low levels of transitivity, possessive pronouns partially merge with pronominal verb prefixes. Finally, I show that the addition of a pronominal verb prefix is the best indicator of increased clause transitivity, and thus of greater foregroundedness.