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Re: Case

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 'nominalisation': 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 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 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 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 answer):
> 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_, above.)
> 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 > copulas. >
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 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 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 construction.
> > 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.) . keda ga adim etand.alei mo seras andal poss-1sMGH ancestor NOM boy be.PT3 then 3sHGH world can hahan.alei. through tramp.PT3 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 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? ga: copula 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 might be: * yadir koran hye ka, yadir dox ga yadir lyan ga. But I'm not very sure of this, myself. Boudewijn Rempt |