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Re: CHAT: Telek nominalization

From:J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...>
Date:Friday, March 30, 2001, 17:48
Marcus Smith wrote:

> 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'
Based on what I know about other languages with applicatives--in which the argument that is added by the applicative morphology takes on the properties of a direct object--I would have expected "-m" to be used for these guys, giving contrasts like: na'ni-m "that which is cooked" ax-na'ni-m "one who is cooked-for" But then, I don't know how applicatives work in Telek (could we have a lesson?). Do applied arguments have any object properties in this language, or are they treated as obliques? Maybe your idea is that the choice of nominalizing suffix is based not on grammatical relations (subject, object, oblique), but on semantic relations? If so, then you should probably rename the subject-oriented and object-oriented forms "agent-oriented" and "patient-oriented", respectively. Hence "-n" is added to a verb X to form a noun denoting the agent of X, while "-m" forms nouns denoting the patient of X, and "-atap" forms nouns denoting some non-agent non-patient participant: na'ni-n "one who cooks [something]" na'ni-m "that which is cooked" ax-na'ni-n "one who cooks [something] for [someone]" ax-na'ni-m "that which is cooked for [someone]" ax-na'ni-tap "one for whom [something] is cooked" One question: Can you add these suffixes to entire verb phrases, or just verb stems? I could imagine constructions like this (here I'm pretending that "maka" means "meat", not knowing the Telek word): maka na'ni-n "one who cooks meat" maka ax-na'ni-tap "one for whom meat is cooked" If constructions of this sort fit with the character of Telek, this could give you a neat way of forming relative clauses--viz., by juxtaposing a head noun with the appropriate nominalization: "man one-who-cooks-meat" = "the man who cooks meat", "man one-for-whom-meat-is-cooked" = "the man for whom the meat is cooked". You could also use this construction as the basis for forming clefts ("It was John for whom the meat was cooked", etc.). Incidentally, here's how nominalization works in Tokana: Gerund: -(a)pi Non-absolutive oriented: -(a)ka Absolutive oriented: -u Gerunds, nouns which denote the type of situation named by the verb, are formed by adding the suffix "-(a)pi". This suffix can be added to both eventive and stative verbs: hostana "dance" hostanapi "dancing, the act of dancing" kesta "be happy" kestapi "being happy, happiness" The other two suffixes, "-(a)ka" and "-u", denote arguments of the verb to which they attach. Tokana has a quasi-ergative case-marking system, in which absolutive arguments (typically patients/themes) are opposed to non-absolutive arguments (agents, experiencers, etc.); "-(a)ka" forms nouns denoting agents or experiencers, while "-u" forms nouns denoting patients/themes: pata "be tall" patu "that which is tall, tall one" hostana "dance" hostanaka "dancer" kesta "be happy" kestaka "one who is happy" otaha "kill for food" otahaka "one who kills for food" otahu "that which is killed for food, quarry, prey" Verb stems to which nominalizing suffixes are attached do not inflect for tense, but event-denoting verb stems do inflect for aspect (simple eventive versus resultative) by means of ablaut: lhalhta "cook" [eventive] lhalhtapi "cooking, the act of cooking" lhalhtaka "one who cooks" lhalhtu "that which may/can/would be cooked, something to cook" lhailhta "be cooked" (i.e., as opposed to raw) [resultative] lhailhtu "that which is cooked, that which has been cooked" (i.e., cooked food) Patient-denoting direct objects can sometimes be added to the gerund and non-absolutive-oriented forms: lhalhta maka "to cook meat" lhalhtapi maka "the cooking of meat" lhalhtaka maka "one who cooks meat, meat-cooker" Non-absolutive- and absolutive-oriented nominalizations are frequently juxtaposed with an underived noun to form a compound. In such constructions, they correspond rather closely to modifying adjectives/participles and reduced relative clauses in English: ne iha "the woman" ne iha patu "the tall woman" (lit. "the woman one-that-is-tall") ne iha hostanaka "the dancing woman, the woman who dances" (lit. "the woman dancer") ne iha kestaka "the happy woman" ne iha lhalhtaka "the woman who cooks, the cooking woman" ne iha lhalhtaka maka "the woman who cooks meat" te ahotsin "the maize" te ahotsin lhalhtu "the maize for cooking" (lit. "the maize that-which-would-be-cooked") te ahotsin lhailhtu "the cooked maize" Since they don't include tense inflection, modifying nominalizations are used only to express generic properties or states. When a noun is associated with a specific event, a full relative clause must be used: ne iha lhalhteia te ahotsin "the woman who cooked the maize" (lit. "the woman that-(she)-cooked the maize") te ahotsin lhalhteiana iha "the maize that the woman cooked" (lit. "the maize that-cooked-the woman") Matt.