Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

CHAT: Telek nominalization

From:Marcus Smith <smithma@...>
Date:Friday, March 30, 2001, 3:19
Hey all,

I've been inspired by some very interesting work I've been doing on
nominalization in Pima. (I just got back from a field trip to the Gila
River Reservation to meet native speakers and the tribal council, which has
to approve any work on the language.) The result is that Telek has gained a
more complex nominalization system, and I present it here.

There are three main nominalizers in Telek now: subject-oriented,
object-oriented, and oblique-oriented. A fourth nominalizer occassionally
occurs, but it has a very specialized usage and is not productive (except
perhaps through analogy).

Subject-Oriented: -Vn

This suffix is used when the entity refered to by the nominalized word
would be the subject of the base verb, e.g., a dancer is someone who
dances, a singer is someone who sings, etc.

tele 'speak' -> tele-n 'speaker' (also the name of the people who speak Telek)
hosy 'whisper' -> hosy-n 'whisperer'
wifaana 'run' -> wifaana-n 'runner'
na'ni 'cook' -> na'ni-n 'cook'
axin 'be red' -> axin-in 'one that is red'
igassi 'be short' -> igassi-n 'dwarf'
ken-e 'give' -> ken-e-n 'giver'

Object-Oriented: -Vm

This suffix is used when the entity refered to by the nominalized word
would be the object of the base verb, e.g., employee is the object of
employ, gift is the object of give, etc. (Neither of these are perfect
examples, but they are close enough.)

na'ni 'cook with fire' -> na'ni-m 'that which is cooked with fire; meal
(that was prepared with fire)'
naali 'tell' -> naali-m 'that which is told; story'
kene 'give' -> kene-m 'that which is given to someone; gift'
ajlo 'follow' -> ajlo-m 'one that is followed; prey'

Oblique-Oriented: -atap

This suffix is used when the entity refered to by the nominalized word
would be the argument of an applicative. Sorry, English does not have
anything like this for use in examples.

ken-e 'give' -> ken-e-tap 'recipient'
ax-na'ni 'cook for' -> ax-na'ni-tap 'one who something is cooked for'
ngo-wifaana 'run to' -> ngo-wifaana-tap 'place where one runs to'
ba-na'ni 'cook with (tool)' -> ba-na'ni-tap 'something used in cooking;
cooking utensil'

The rare fourth nominalizer is -ik.  This suffix is used to indicate a
language with some relationship to the base. It is no longer only used with
verbs, but has been extended for use with the nouns, even proper names. I
don't know where it came from, but it must be old, given its small size.

tele 'speak' -> telek 'language, the language of the Telen'
miiw 'meow' -> miiwik 'language of cats'
igassi 'be short' -> Igassik 'the language of dwarves'
Kaldila 'name of a town' -> Kaldilak 'dialect of Telek spoken in Kaldila'
Saskum 'name of a town' -> Saskumik 'dialect of Telek spoken in Saskum'

Marcus Smith

"Sit down before fact as a little child,
be prepared to give up every preconceived notion,
follow humbly wherever and to whatsoever abysses Nature leads,
or you shall learn nothing."
                -- Thomas Huxley


jesse stephen bangs <jaspax@...>
taliesin the storyteller <taliesin@...>
J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...>