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verb-noun-incorporation mania

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Monday, November 19, 2001, 19:39
In the process of getting ideas for revamping my conlang, I came up with
this (probably totally insane) verbal/nominal incorporation mechanism.
Basically, the idea is that verbs do not need to be standalone; they can
stick themselves into the middle of a noun. And multiple nouns in the same
sentence can have these attached verbs. For example:

eTuw'mab0 Kyy'kh3tau t3 my'd3m3l fww'tujub0' teme.
"I-asserting hurting-to-woman, no-prettiness showing-from-you!"

In English, "I said to the woman, hurting her, You are not pretty!"


eTuw'mab0       [&t<h>u.u".ma.bO] (Kirsch)
        Built from _eb0'_, "I" (originative) and _Tuw'ma_, "to assert"
        e-      masculine proper name prefix (always used with 1st person
                pronoun -- this is an idiosyncrasy of the language)
        Tuw'ma  incorporated verb, "to assert"
        b0'     the second half of _eb0'_, "I", originative case.

Kyy'kh3tau      [k<h>y:x@ta.u]
        Built from _Kyy'kh_, perfective of _Ke'kh, "to hurt", "to harm",
        "to wound", and _biz3tau'_, receptive case of _biz3tai'_, "woman".
        Kyy'kh  incorporated verb
        -etau   contraction from _biz3tau_, "woman".

t3      [t@]
        Quoted discourse marker

my'd3m3l        [mydV"m@l]
        nullar conveyant of _dami'l_, "pretty".

fww'tujub0      [Bu":tudZubO]
        Built from _fww't3_, perfective of _fa't3_, "to see", and
        _jub0'_, originative of _jubi'_, feminine intimate pronoun.
        fww'tu  incorporated verb; the end vowel shifts to _u_ to match
                initial vowel in pronoun.
        jub0    incorporated noun.

t3m3    [t@m@]
        End of quoted discourse marker.

The idea behind this (convoluted) construction is that the same action can
have multiple verbs to describe it, relative to the role of each
associated noun. So, "I" in the sentence is asserting, hence "assert"
incorporates onto the noun. But the same act of speaking to the woman was
a wounding of her feelings, hence "to wound" is incorporated on "woman".
(And the beauty of my conlang's case system -- if I should say so myself
-- is that there is no ambiguity whether the woman is suffering the wounds
or inflicting the wounds, because "woman" is in the receptive case, and thus
can only be on the receiving end of the verb.

Similarly for the quoted discourse -- in _fww'tujub0_ it is obvious that
_jub0_, "she", is the source of non-beauty, not the seer, even though the
English gloss of _fa't3_ is "to see", because "she" is in the originative
case. An alternative translation of the phrase might be "no beauty is seen
from you!", if you English-speakers are more comfortable seeing the
passive in there :-)

What do my fellow conlangers think of this idea? Is it plausible?
Implausible? Outrageous? :-)


Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've
forgotten this before.