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Predicate nominals in Piata (Andreas's Law of Freaks strikes again!)

From:daniel andreasson <danielandreasson@...>
Date:Sunday, March 9, 2003, 17:38
Hahaha! Andreas's Law of Freaks strikes again! I was thinking
about how to form predicate nominals in Piata. There is no
copula, and all adjectives and numerals are verbs.

It started out with me thinking of a better way of expressing
'One cow' which for the moment is _aka toniui_, which literally
means 'A cow which is one'.

Then I thought I could express that as 'It is one cow'. But
how would I do that? There is no copula verb.

So I thought, what if 'cow' got denominalized to 'to be a cow'?
I created the denominalizer _-chv_ (_v_ is /V/) and suddenly I
had the word _akachv_ 'to be a cow'.

Next step was to add _fu-_ which is the third person proximate
intransitive pronominal patient prefix, also known as "3PAT". :)
Now I had _fuakachv_ 'It is a cow'.

Then I thought, "How would that work with an entire sentence and
not just an NP"? (Which 'a cow that is one/it is a cow' basically

So I translated the sentence 'My father is a chief'. This came
out as:

nu  -ata     fu  -chahta-chv
3PAT-father  3PAT-chief -DENOM
'My father is a chief.'

Literally, this means 'My father, he chiefs/is chiefing.'

"Now, that's an odd way of expressing this construction," I thought.
"Aren't there any better or more sane ways of expressing it?" I looked
up copular expressions in my copy of "Describing morphosyntax" and
imagine my surprise when EXACTLY THIS CONSTRUCTION is found Bella
Coola. It's even a Native American language! Just like Piata! This
construction seemed so perfect for Piata, and it was even more perfect
than I could imagine. (Actually, it was *exactly* as perfect as I could
imagine. :)

I think "anadew" is a lovely word for this kind of coincidence, but
it was so freaky that "Andreas's Law of Freaks" seems much more

Naturally, I've GOT to keep this construction in Piata.

One more very weird thing happened to me today, which I have to tell
y'all about in a later mail.

Daniel Andreasson



daniel andreasson <danielandreasson@...>