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Basque bizarreries (was: Conland Digest etc.)

From:Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 25, 2004, 8:04
Partitive is also related to Indefinite in my book.
The author mentions Partitive and Prolative as
applying to Indefinite, that's why these two cases are
presented one following the other.

Mediative is Instrumental, ok (*by what means*)

Prolative should be Destinative (but *instead of*
looks rather different to me from *for the benefit
of*; probably two concepts mixed here...). I wonder
whether it's really a Benefactive, or if it can be
Malefactive too.

Ablative is probably Elative.

Of course I didn't want to say that you should define
a table as masculine or feminine: this is French
oddity. I rather thought like in English: masculine,
feminine, neutral. I think that very many languages
mark the gender, so my question was: why is it not so
in Basque ? This is one of the points that make Basque
*peculiar* (and hence interesting, of course), from my
point of view.

Isn't it striking that the french word *bizarre* comes
from Basque language ?

As to the many cases in Basque, especially the
locative ones, it's not really different from Finnish
from ex. Anyway, from a conceptual point of view, I
don't think there is any difference between using,
either a case, either a preposition, in sentences
* I'm going to the city*, *I'm coming from the city*,
*I'm going city-ADL*, *I'm coming city-ABL*.

But it is still interesting to note the different
locative notions that are taken into account in a
specific language. This is a great help to
*cartography* these locative (or other) concepts.

--- Christophe Grandsire
<christophe.grandsire@...> wrote:
> En réponse à Philippe Caquant : > > > >The author mentions the following cases in Basque: > >- Nominative > >- Active > >- Mediative > >- Inessive > >- Elative > >- Adlative > >- Locative Genitive > >- Possessive Genitive > >- Dative > >- Unitive > >- Partitive > >- Prolative > > > >Nominative would probably be called Absolutive > >nowadays, and Unitive looks like Comitative. As to > >Prolative, I'm still trying to understand what is > this > >kind of animal ('used in place of the preposition > >*for*', and applying only to Indefinite). > > Strangely enough, my booklet says that it's the > *partitive* that applies > only to the indefinite. And it shows examples > proving it. For what is > worth, it gives the following cases: > - Absolutive (also called Nominative) > - Ergative > - Instrumental > - Dative > - Possessive Genitive > - Comitative (in French it's given as "sociatif") > - Destinative ("instead of" or "for the benefit of") > - Locative Genitive > - Inessive > - Adlative > - Ablative > - Partitive (doesn't exist in definite forms) > It also mentions that the adlative can take further > suffixes to form the > Directive (in the direction of) and Terminative > (until). > > What strikes me is that it doesn't seem that easy to > map the two > description together (especially with the fact that > my booklet says, with > examples, that it's the partitive that doesn't exist > in the definite. > > >What's very interesting is the Number; there is > >Singular, Plural, no Dual, but an Indefinite > Number: > > I'd rather say that there are two definitions: > Indefinite and Definite, and > number is marked on the noun only in the definite. > In the indefinite, you > simply use separate marks (and indeed, Basque often > uses "bat": "one" with > the indefinite to indicate it's singular). Nothing > fancy actually. > > >*zoin hiritan* means *in what city* or *in what > >cities*. This is a very good idea I think. In > >counterpart, no Gender, so shall we suppose that > the > >Basque think that the difference between man and > woman > >is too insignifiant to be mentioned ? > > Since it separates 2nd person singular masculine and > 2nd person singular > feminine in personal suffixes (-k masculine, -n > feminine), I doubt it. > Nominal gender has nothing to do with finding sex > differences meaningful or > not. Nominal gender is just a classification system > based on purely > etymological circumstances which just happens to fit > the "masculine" and > "feminine" distinctions for nouns where it's > meaningful. But for other > nouns, it's just random (if you work only > synchronically). What makes a > table more feminine than a sofa for instance? > Nothing. It's plain random > and meaningless. Just a way to add gender agreement > so that we know what > refers to what in the sentence. No deep meaning to > find in that. > > > In that case > >there are probably wrong. Man and woman brains are > >very different, not to speak about the rest of it. > > So what? Since when does it mean we *have* to > distinguish those things in > language? Especially mandatorily and on words that > have not even a remote > connection to sex? Believe me, I think the Basque > find "gizon": "man" very > masculine and "emazteki": "woman" very feminine. Not > having overt gender > marking on nouns doesn't say anything about how > people view the universe. > Especially since the majority of objects and > concepts are genderless. > Gender systems are just classification systems (like > in Bantu languages for > instance) on the verge of extinction or renewal. > > Christophe Grandsire. > >
===== Philippe Caquant "Le langage est source de malentendus." (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail SpamGuard - Read only the mail you want.


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>