Questions on Inalienable Possession Prefixes
|From:||Sylvia Sotomayor <kelen@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, November 5, 2002, 1:34|
I'm having some trouble with inalienable possession...
That Kélen has a profound animate vs. inanimate distinction is so
ingrained into the language I can't change it any more. Generally,
this is the distinction between the ma- prefix and the ja- prefix, as
in: jaló 'bright thing' and maló 'sun', etc...
Now take the root -kú: which is usually ja-kú 'hand'. With an
animate prefix, this would be ma-kú, 'worker, manual laborer'. Or,
-Né, 'face', which when animate becomes ma-Né 'person, aquaintance'
(as opposed to the more generic m-éla 'person').
I've already decided to do alienable possession or association as a
suffix, and I would like inalienable possession to be a prefix of
some sort. I've tried it as a suffix and it hasn't worked for me.
So, reading up on the subject, I've come up with two schemes, neither
of which is entirely satisfactory...
Scheme A: Use the current reduced personal pronouns as prefixes
So instead of ja-kú 'hand', we could have le-kú, ri-kú, and a small
problem. It should be ma-kú for 3p. However, that would conflict with
the animate prefix. So, it could instead be ja-kú or from a more
obscure 3p pronoun sa-kú.
Scheme B: Use 1st & 2nd person prefixes cognate with the
demonstratives Tó (here by me) and xó (there by you):
Ta-kú, xa-kú, and ???, probably ja-kú, which would fit in with the
fact that the generic demonstrative is jáo, and is obviously related
to the inanimate prefix ja- and the 3rd person inanimate pronoun ja.
There is a third deictic demonstrative áke (there by him/her/them),
which could become a'-, as in ak-kú, but that doesn't seem right to
me, though the reduplicated consonant bit shows up in other places in
I'm leaning towards Scheme B, though A with ja-kú is also workable.
Any thoughts, questions or comments from the list?
The Kélen language can be found at:
This post may contain the following characters:
á (a-acute); é (e-acute); í (i-acute); ó (o-acute); ú (u-acute);