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attributive predicates in rinya

From:daniel andreasson <daniel.andreasson@...>
Date:Friday, March 30, 2001, 13:26
Hey all.

I've finally come up with a solution to the problem I've been
having with the verb phrase in Rinya. As there are no
adjectives, just "active" and "stative" verbs [I call them
predicates], attributive predicates are formed as a relative
clause with the REL-marker _le_:

(1)  The brown dog    ->  dog which browns
(2)  The running dog  ->  dog which runs

Since Rinya distinguishes between Agent (AGT) and Patient (PAT)
arguments, and that leads to different word orders, some problems
have occurred. I think I have solved them now.

Let's say we have the phrase "The brown dog runs". "Be brown"
is an inherent state and its argument is marked as PAT. "Run"
OTOH is a controlled event and its argument is thus marked as
AGT. Now, the syntax of Rinya doesn't allow the subject argument
of a relative clause to be different from the one in the main

(3)  *The dog:AGT [ which:PAT is brown ] runs.

This has led to the creation of two new morphemes: DIFFERENT
and SAME. Example (3) would be grammatically correct if we
inserted a DIFF-marker on the subject of the relative clause:

(4)  The dog:AGT [ which:PAT:DIFF is brown ] runs.

However. There is another problem. The word order of Rinya is
PVA, i.e. PAT - VERB - AGT. This is also true for intransitive
clauses. A PAT argument always precedes its predicate and an
AGT argument always follows it. This may lead to horrible strings
of verbs, especially if there is an adverb which modifies the
main verb (Modifying adverbs aren't morphologically distinguished
from ordinary verbs). That is, if the main argument is PAT then
all the verbs will follow it:

(5)  The dog:PAT [ which:PAT:SAME browns ] falls quicks.
           P     [   P              V    ]   V    V:ADV
     'The brown dog falls quickly.'

This V-V-V has always been a bit awkward. However there are no
problems when the argument is an AGT:

(6)  Eats quicks the dog:AGT [ which:PAT:DIFF browns ].
      V                A     [   P              V    ]
     'The brown dog eats quickly.'

The solution is to insert a pronoun between the REL-clause and
the verb, but *only* if the main argument is a PAT. If the main
argument is an AGT it isn't necessary as we saw in (6):

(7)  The dog:PAT [ which:PAT:SAME browns ] it falls quicks.
     'The brown dog falls quickly.'

This inserted "it" breaks the awkward string of verbs.

Anyway. The SAME - DIFFERENT morphemes leads to four alternatives
which I will go through below. "Be brown" and "fall" take PAT,
"run" and "eat" take AGT.

(8)  the dog:PAT [ which:AGT:DIFF runs ] it:PAT is brown.
     'The running dog is brown.'

(9)  the dog:PAT [which:PAT:SAME is brown ] it:PAT falls.
     'The brown dog falls.'

(10) eats the dog:AGT [ which:AGT:SAME runs ].
     'The running dog eats.'

(11) runs the dog:AGT [ which:PAT:DIFF is brown ].
     'The brown dog runs.'

This leades to the four new morphemes, (each is a REL-marker):

8.  main=PAT rel=AGT -> _lyn_
9.  main=PAT rel=PAT -> _le_     [ unmarked ]
10. main=AGT rel=AGT -> _lin_    [ most marked ]
11. main=AGT rel=PAT -> _ly_

So what do you guys think? Do you have any comments or
suggestions? Did anyone actually read it? ;)

Myself, I think it's quite a neat system.

||| daniel

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