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Re: Telek Verbs

From:Marcus Smith <smithma@...>
Date:Thursday, May 11, 2000, 2:03
Daniel wrote:

>Ah, of course. Why make the choise either/or when you can have >both? :)
Of course.
>So Telek is a "classic" active lang with the main distinction >being control. (At least most of the North American native >langs seem to mainly have that distinction and Telek seems >very inspired by them.)
Guess you wouldn't be surprised to hear that my research focuses on polysynthesis and Native American languages.
>> Thanks, I'll take a look at that. I'm slowly working on a theory >> of active marking -- I'm not satisfied by any of the accounts I've >> seen so far in the literature. > >Really? That sounds very interesting! So what have you come up >with?
As of yesterday, nothing. I was using a VP-Shell analysis where applicatives are "light verb", and object agreement projects occur below the highest VP. I was able to predict the agreement of most Chickasaw verbs in typical contexts. Then my research into case assignment forced my to conclude that all agreement projects are above the highest VP, which but a damper on my theory. And then my advisor showed me some data that apparently had not been published yet, and that completely destroyed my theory. So as of yesterday, I'm back at nothing.
>It seems that generativists have problems with it since all >the literature I've read about it take a very functionalistic >approach. Except Role and Reference grammar-fans, of course, >but they aren't very chomskyan in this matter, imho.
I agree. The generativist theories don't match the data very well. The last paper I wrote dealt with the issues a little bit, and the professor wrote some comments on it trying to "explain" some points. His ideas were way off the mark empirically.
>Yes, you have it right. The Acehnese syntax seems very foreign >to my eyes. But very interesting! The examples that I have states >that "He wants to go" is okey, but "He wants to fall" is not. >(Perhaps not very strange afterall, since the semantics makes >it very weird to have "want" and then something involuntary.)
That's why I chose "I want to die" for my examples. That is a completely normal idea, as is "I want him to die" which would break even more rules.
>> "Want" is a vit exceptional in this respect. In most situations,
>> between clauses is by use of a switch-reference system -- which is embedded
>> a discourse tracking system. I meant to include a description of it in the >> last post, but forgot to. (I forgot passives too.) > >Oh, passives! And do you have an anti-passive too?
No, for historical reasons. In proto-Telek, there was an impersonal subject. The impersonal subject was reanalysed as a passive. I'd explain in more detail, but I'm still too busy. This time I have a presentation to deliver at a conference on Friday, and I still have a lot of work to do on it.
>That's neat. So does the 'activity' influence this in any way? >Like e.g. only patients or agents can be coreferenced?
No restrictions like that.
>> I'd explain in detail, but I have a difficult midterm to study for. >> Neurolinguistics -- what was I thinking? :-) > >Neurolinguistics?!? And I thought Psycholinguistics was bad enough! ;)
I never took psycholing, but I'm beginning to wish I had. This class deals with a lot of evidence from that area and language acquisition (which I've also never studied). Marcus