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Re: Relative clauses

From:Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 17:03
On Wed, 28 Jun 2006 08:38:09 +0100, R A Brown <ray@...>
>Eldin Raigmore wrote:
>>I have read, ISTR, that in the Balkan Sprachbund there is an areal feature >>whereby ideas that other languages (e.g. English) would express via >>infinitives, are expressed via relative clauses instead; >>"Give me that I may drink" rather than "Give me something to drink". >>Is that true? >>It seems relevant, at least marginally relevant, to your remarks above and >>the start of your remarks below. > >Yes, basically it is true, but it is not a relative clause (which is >adjectival in function),
Right. I see what you mean.
>but a noun clause that is used where we would >use an infinitive. But it is not in fact relevant to the remarks above,
>but it is relevant to the remarks below such clauses could replace gerunds.
>But this Balkan Sprachbund feature did not affect ancient Greek,
Naturally. Modern Greek is in that Sprachbund, but before the fall of the Roman Empire that Sprachbund wouldn't have existed, at least not in its present form.
>which had infinitives a-plenty and used then widely. > >Interesting the rich system of participles & infinitives have >disappeared from Modern Greek.
Due to the areal influence of its now-neighbors, perhaps?
>The only participle left is a passive >one. There is a single active form which is sometimes called a >participle; but it is invariable and is an adverb - similar forms in >Slav languages are, I believed, called 'gerunds'.
Thanks, Ray. [snip]
>Philip Newton wrote: >>On 6/27/06, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...> wrote: >[snip] >>>"Give me that I may drink" rather than "Give me something to drink". >>>Is that true? >>I'm not sure; judge for yourself. >>I'd translate the sentence into Greek as "Dose mou kati na pio" (give >>me something that I-drink -- with "na" being followed by a form that >>would be described by traditional grammarians as "subjunctive", though >>the "present subjunctive" is pronounced exactly like the present >>indicative [and is also spelled that way since, I believe, the >>spelling reform in the 1980's that abolished the polytonic >>orthography]
Thanks, Philip.
>Yep - Katharevousa spells the so-called present subjunctive & present >indicative differently, even tho there is no difference in >pronunciation. But the 1980s reform did away with that nonsense :) > >>and the "aorist subjunctive" is pronounced -- and now >>spelled -- with the same endings as the present indicative). >>Also after modals, e.g. "I want to drink" = "Thelo na pio", "I must >>drink" = "Prepei na pio", "I like to drink" = "Mou aresei na pio" >>(literally, to-me it-pleases that I-drink, similar to German "es >>gefällt mir" or Spanish "me gusta"). >>Also e.g. in purpose clauses, e.g. "He came here (in order) to drink" >> = "Irthe edo gia na piei" (He-came here for that he-drinks). >>I'm not sure whether using "na" counts as a relative clause, though.
Ray, and Philip; this seems related to some of the questions I asked in my recent "THEORY: Diachronic (etc.)" thread-starter. Ray, I had actually kind of hoped you might be one to answer one or two of the questions I asked there (I don't want to take credit for being the one to raise them, just for putting them on-list.)
>No, they don't. In origin (i.e. ancient Greek) "na" was "hina" and they >were just adverbial clauses expressing purpose, as in your last example. >But in modern Greek they also serve as noun clauses, functioning instead >of infinitives. Such clauses, as I am certain Philip knows, can be >preceded by the neuter of the definite article: >einai kourasmenos ap to na min koimatai >he-is tired from the NA not he-sleep >'He is tired from not sleeping' - the noun clause is preceded by a >preposition + definite article. > >With modal verbs the clause is either the direct object (Thelo na pio) >or subject (Mou aresei na pio). > >As for other Balkan languages: >Romanian - the verb does have infinitives, but _s@_ + subjunctive >clauses (like the Greek _na_ + subj.) are widely used where we would use >infinitives. >Albanian - as far as I can make out, there are no infinitives but from >one article I read it seems that participles can be used as verbal nouns >when preceded by certain particles. I could find nothing about noun >clauses, tho I feel sure are used. >Bulgarian - a quick 'Google' came up with: >{quote} >Often in Bulgarian да + perfective verb corresponds to English to + >infinitive, while да + imperfective verb corresponds to to + be + ><verb>-ing. E.g. > >намирам, to find (imperfective) >намер�?, to find (perfective) > >И�?кам да намер�? = I want to find >И�?кам да намирам = I want to be finding >{/quote} >Which is basically the same construction as in Romanian & Modern Greek.
Thanks again, Ray, and Philip.
>Jeffrey Jones wrote:
>>... in which case temporal _participles_ etc. could be invented >>instead of, > >But participles are verbal _adjectives_. What would these participles >agree with?
Relative clauses can be used as clausal adjectives, whether restrictive or not. But they can also be used as clausal adverbs; these are the so- called "TAM-relative" clauses. Whatever process converts a relative clause used as a clausal adjective into a participle, couldn't a similar process apply to a TAM-relative clause? It would result in a verbal adverb; a kind of "participly" thing, tho not a participle per se. Is there a word for such a thing? Perhaps independently, are there examples? As for clausal adverbs in general, it has been pointed out recently on this thread that a purpose-clause is such (but it is not a relative clause, as has also been pointed out recently on this thread.) Lehman seems to have suggested that if such a purpose clause is treated as a noun, it would naturally take the dative case; and that this is how infinitives arise. Or, at least, how many of them have arisen in many Indo-European languages. How much sense does that make to the rest of the list? [snip] Thanks, Jeffrey and Ray ----- eldin


Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>OT (?) Balkan Sprachbund (was: Relative clauses)