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Re: theta roles and ergativity in a fairly isolating new language [longish]

From:Joe Mondello <joemond@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 16, 2002, 23:15
Nathaniel G. Lew writes

> On Tue, 15 Oct 2002 19:57:33 -0400, Joe Mondello <joemond@...> > wrote: > > >The matter becomes fairly confused when dealing with subordinate clauses: > > > >ki nu [(nu) súdo pi brame] > >ki nu súdo pi brame > >hope I find Det horse > >I hope I find (by looking) the horse > > > >ki mo nu-z [nu súdo zúyo] > >hope mother 1s-Gen [1s find work] > >My mother hopes I find work > > > >Thus far I think this is fairly reasonable. The hairy part is that when > the > >subject of the subordinate clause is the experiencer, the subject and
> >of the main clause follw the verb of the subordinate clause (follwing > >this?), e.g.: > > > >súdo-ga ki mo slívil-o > >find-Fut hope 1s money-PL > >I hope I will find/happen upon a substantial sum of money. > > I am confused. Should that example be > > súdo-ga [ki (nu)] nu slívil-o > > ?
Sorry about the mistake, that should have been "súdo-ga [ki nu] slívil-o". After I wrote the email, however, I thought long and hard about this system, and changed it substantially. Mind you that a lot of what I say now may not jive with the last e-mail, but that's the creative process, you know.
> (You gloss "mo" as "mother" above.) Also, what if the experiencers of the > two clauses are not co-referential? That is, how do you translate "I hope > that my mother happens upon money?" Is it something like this: > > súdo-ga [ki nu] mo nu-z slívil-o > > ?
No. The subordinate clause would essentially be re-rendered as a NP meaning "the X-ing by Y to Z". when subject=agent, it is marked with the suffix -nu (which comes from '-na wi' 'to exist with'), When subject=experiencer, the Direct object is marked with the genitive. e.g. pi mo-nu [súdo-ga slívil] Det Mom-Nom find-Fut money The "will find money"-ness of/by mom (sub=agent) pi [súdo-ga mo-nu] slívil-za Det find-Fut mom-Nom money-Gen The "mom will find"-ness of money (sub=experiencer) It should be noticed that I've changed the 1s pronoun to 'e' so that I dont have to say 'nunu' all the time. That being said, "I hope my mother happens upon money" is ki e-nu [pi [súdo-ga mo-nu] slívil-za]. want 1s-Nom [Det [ find-Fut mom-Nom] money-Gen]. Relative clauses work use the relative particle be in-situ: ki e-nu [pi (i) [súdo-k' mo-nu [slivil wo-be(i)]]] want 1s-Nom [Det (i) [find-Perf. mom-Nom [money Exist-Rel(i)]]] Sometimes compounding even occurs in this way, e.g. Rel-in sleep=be-me trisko> bémetrisko> bímetox=bed I think the system works fairly well but there's something about the method of subordination that sets off an alarm in my brain.
> > - Nat