|From:||Boudewijn Rempt <bsarempt@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, July 10, 1999, 20:00|
On Sat, 10 Jul 1999, From Http://Members.Aol.Com/Lassailly/Tunuframe.Html wrote:
> i'm not a linguist so i can't say much more than for "tan".
> maybe i'm completely wrong here but temptatively it makes me
> think of japanese nominalizing-topicalizing "no wa", "to iu no
> wa", "to iu koto", "to itte", etc.. so you can topicize any
> argument, verb, copula, clause, raccoons, etc... except that
> sometimes it seems also trigger a kind of dutch "er" or "daar"
> in the rheme and sometime it just points at the focus (?). also
> i guess that the fact that NEG is right after or before any
> negated item makes it possible to either topicize/focus a
> negation or negate the topic/focus (??). i must say that some
> of your examples i would have flatly misinterpreted.
Grinning... And I thought Denden was an easy language! Speaking on a
meta-level (as we used to say in the heady days of the Dutch Linguafiction
Society) I think these constructions have a layered origin - the
adpositional particles appeared in the days when I thought that _French_
was an exotic language, and the particle _ga_ appeared when I was just
beginning to learn Classical Chinese, which was taught, appropriately
since Japanese was pushed out of the curriculum a few years before, with
lots of references to Japanese grammar. I think that you are right in
discerning three functions, that can be subsumed under the epithetet
1. Genereral topicalisation (although, strictly speaking, the particle
_ka_ TOP is more suited in that role)
2. a sort of resumptive or reflexive article
3. a focus marker
The fourth function, as a copula might be convincingly derived from
these functions, as they all seem to point to the immediate relevance,
and thus the existence of the phrase that _ga_ points at.
> S = subject
> T/F = topic/focus
> iO = indirect object
> dO = direct object
> ?O = what kind of object ?
> your structure seems to me :
> S iO V dO
(EXP: experiential aspect, DEL: delimitative aspect)
But only when _ga_ NOM is used, since the general structure
for ditransitive sentences is S V iO dO:
. Quandiyal jerat najan Lujis.
Quandiyal give kiss Lujis
Quandiyal gave Lujis a kiss
. Yamei ka.nda tau.tau.jeret teli ryerp Gyezal.
Yamei TOP.3sMGH NEG.NEG.give nothing crumb Gyezal
As for Yamei, she didn't even give no crumbs to Gyezal.
(_nda_ is a regional variant of regular 3sMGH _da_, which is bound to _ka_
TOP, also Denden is clearly a language with a lot of negatives!)
. Sero percha bachan.za.za knighdra.
1sHGH cudgel beat.EXP.DEL ox
I was just beating the ox a bit with a cudgel
But if the instrumental _hye_ INST is used, the order is S V dO HYE iO:
. Sero bachan.za.za khighdra hye percha
1sHGH beat.EXP.DEL ox INST cudgel
I was just beating the ox a bit with a cudgel
Which contrasts to the version with _ga_:
. khighra ga sero bachan.za.za hye percha nothaz (ga)
ox NOM 1sHGH beat.EXP.DEL INST cudgel dead NOM
The ox I beat with a cudgel has died/ is dead.
Which is a rather more complex sentence, as is (and here I transpose your
> in light cast by the following i guess ?O is actually iO:
> > Keda ga naha afran teshitlo gevir ram.
> > father NOM mother go market give money
> > father gives money to mother who goes to the marked
> S-T/F iO V dO
So I'd say that a phrase which is nominalized with _ga_ can be used as an
indirect object and then is placed after the topic/subject. (And in
Denden, topic-comment constructions are almost always of the form: topic
KA subject v o, as in _Yamei ka.nda tau.tau.jeret teli ryerp Gyezal_,
> stuff like "cu" and "at" reminds me of serial intransitive verbs
> or english up and down in put it up/cut it down or japanese
I think you're onto something here - I've never considered them as
verbs, since they are formally outside that class - no tense, aspect,
attitudinal qualifiers or even negation, but appear to 'finish' a
verbless sentence. I will think on this for a week, and then write
the relevant chapter in my 1999 grammar!
I earlier made the remark that _ga_ can be negated: _tauga_, but that that
wasn't the best or most accepted style. I've since then unearthed an
example of a clever negation of _ga_:
. Manud yo adan tau.adan ga! da yumir'beru hye qenan,
Manud that man NEG.man NOM 1sMGH wife.first INST make_love
xong.zi, xong.zi na da yumir'verai hye qenan
tired.AUG tired.AUG so 1sMGH wife.second INST make_love
tau.yindad. E.da yumir.ir dilogh qenan!
NEG.can poss.1sMGH wife.DUP REFL make_love
That man Manud, he isn't a man! If he makes love with his first
wife he's very tired, he's so tired he can't make love with his
second wife. His wives must make love amongst themselves!
Where 'Manud isn't a man', is not expressed as _Manud adan tauga_, but as
_Manud tauadan ga_, 'Manud is a not-man'. It is likely that tauadan isn't
a lexical item, meaning for instance eunuch, but a productive grammatical
> > Adanvough ga barusha goho qireze.
> > old_man NOM mountain high see
> > The old man sees the mountain that is high.
> > The old man sees that the mountain is high.
> S-T/F ?O V
a complicating fact is that the verb in the nominalized phrase
can have tense and aspect and so on, which means that it isn't
a simple noun phrase, I think:
. Purdam ga adan.dan noth.e.nai cherdin.amoi.
priest NOM man.p die.RPT.PRF burn.RFUT
The priest will burn the men who died.
(or: the priest will burn the men after they have died.)
. e.do keda ga adim etand.alei mo seras andal
poss-1sMGH ancestor NOM boy be.PT3 then 3sHGH world
When my ancestor was a boy he travelled through the world.
I think that in the future I will have to distinguish between
two _ga_'s, one the nominalizing particle discussed above, and one
the etymologically related copula, which is used in sentences like:
. Aya! Vlami e.serir burgat tau.ga.
EXCL Vlami poss.1pHGH god NEG.NOM.
Ha! Vlami is not our god.
However, sentences like:
. koran hye ka yadir dox ga lyan ga
veil INST TOP woman all NOM beautiful NOM
With a veil, every woman is beautiful
remain rather difficult to analyze:
koran hye ka: Topic
yadir dox: Subject
ga: nominalizes lyan?
lyan: stative verb? attributive verb? nominalized adjective?
The exact meaning is perhaps something like: as for women with a veil,
all women are women who are beautiful, and a fuller form of the sentence
* yadir koran hye ka, yadir dox ga yadir lyan ga.
But I'm not very sure of this, myself.
Boudewijn Rempt | http://www.xs4all.nl/~bsarempt