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Re: attributive predicates in rinya

From:Marcus Smith <smithma@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 18, 2001, 17:09
Daniel wrote:

>I suppose the "transitive becomes intransitive" thingy isn't >an issue thanks to the active alignment. > >Anyway. What would the phrase above be in Rinya? I suppose you >could do something like the following: > >i) teno lönya mestau riw jonumbe le norea > man:PAT REL:DIFF:DAT give:PASS book:PAT John:INSTR 3SG boring:PST > 'The man who was given a book by John was boring.' > >where _lönya_ says that the relativized subject of the rel.clause >has a different case than the main clause subject, but still >refers to the same thing. > >lönya <- le + umlaut + DAT -nya > >This feels a bit ad hoc. Anyone has a better idea?
No, I think this works.
> > >The dative is used for have-phrases as well. Example (5) would > > >then look like: > > > > > >(7) riw le eriwilenya edrinie le timie. > > > book:PAT REL:PAT:SAME writer:DAT eloquent:PST 3SG red:PST > > > 'The book who had an eloquent writer was red.' > > > I'm confused. Are you saying that the simple sentence "The book had an > > eloquent writer" would be: > > > > riw eriwilenya edrinie. > > book:PAT writer:DAT eloquent:PST > > > > It looks to me like "eloquent" is acting as the predicate of the sentence, > > since it takes the tense marking. I would have guessed it meant something > > like "The book is eloquent to the writer", or something like that. > >Well, I told you it was confusing. :) I interpret it as "The writer >of the book was eloquent". The problem is that "have" constructions >are done the same way as genitive relations.
So this is a dative of possession.
> > Seriously, how about possessor raising of some sort? When you raise the > > possessor to be an argument of the verb, the former-possessor and > > possessed have distinct roles, so could be treated accordingly. I'm going > > to take a guess at the proper Rinya for my examples, but if I'm wrong, > > just follow the glosses. > > > > The sentence: > > erivil riwenya edrinie > > writer:PAT book:DAT eloquent:PST > > 'The book's writer was eloquent.' > > > > Becomes: > > riw erivil edrinie > > book:PAT writer:PAT eloquent:PST > > 'The book's writer was eloquent' = 'The book has an eloquent writer' > > > > The possessor has become the subject of the sentence. If there is any way > > to be sure of the subject of the sentence (other than semantics), such > > tests will point to "book" in cases like this. Some languages that do this > > (such as Chickasaw and Mohawk) insert some kind of "benefactive" marking > > that agrees with the raised possessor to show what happened. > > > > Since the possessor is now the subject of the sentence, you can treat it > > like one. > > > > riw le erivil edrinie le timie > > book:PAT REL:PAT:SAME writer:PAT eloquent:PST 3SG red:PST > > 'The book which has an eloquent writer is red.' > >I like this very much! It has a kind of inherent simplicity to >it, yet it's very elegant. I mean, it looks simple, but it's >actually more complicated "behind the curtains". :)
It's one of my all-time favorite grammatical constructions.
>I haven't really been all clear what possessor raising is, but >now I think I am. "Describing Morphosyntax" is an unbelievably >useful book. And it had examples from Chickasaw! :)
Not surprising. Payne's MA advisor was Pam Munro, and that was about the time Chickasaw scholarship was nearing its peak at UCLA.
>I think I'll go with the "book:PAT writer:PAT eloquent:PAST" >version. If it turns out that it becomes blurry semantically >and I need need a benefactive marker, I'll introduce one later. >But I think context and semantics will make it clear anyway.
Well, Japanese does subject-possessor raising without using benefactive marking, so you might be okay. It, of course, is a nominative-accusative language, so the case issue isn't so complicated.
> > My suggestion would be to add a morpheme that changes a verb into > > an adverbial. This could apply to simple words or to entire phrases. > > Take, for example, a suffix like -ig (borrowed from a Pima morpheme > > that appears in adverbs based on predicates). > > > > I walked to school tired-ig. > > 'I walked to school tiredly.' > > > > I walked to school sing-ig. > > 'I walked to school singing.' > > > > I walked to schoool sing-ig a song. > > 'I walked to school singing a song.' > > > > Or to appply it to your example: > > > > the dog:PAT [which:PAT:SAME browns] falls quick-ig. > >It feels so easy, too easy, to just make up yet another morpheme >(YAM) :) but is probably what I have to do. Incidentally, _-ig_ >is a very common adjective forming suffix in Swedish. Take any >noun, put _-ig_ to it and you have an adjective.
Pima also has a lot of adjectives ending in -ig. But I haven't found any kind of productive process yet. I haven't really looked yet, though.
>Do you notice how Rinya gradually turns into a North American >language? :P I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes noun-incorporating >in a near future. ;)
North American languages are the coolest languages on Earth. That's why Telek is heavily based on Chickasaw and Mohawk, with a slight dash of Comanche. (It also has a bit of Ainu influence.) My other conlang Igassik was meant to have few similarities to anything, but it has a pronoun system reminiscent of Zapotec, and a morphology somewhat similar to Yokuts.
> > > > > 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_ > > > One further comment on this system that hadn't occurred to me before. This > > is conceptually very similar to switch-reference marking, like is found in > > Chickasaw. > >Yes, I've had a similar thought in the back of my mind, though >I don't really remember it all that well. I'll have to reread >what I have on Chickasaw switch-reference marking.
There is a book edited by Haiman and Munro entitled "Switch-Reference and Universal Grammar" that has lots of discussion of switch-reference in a variety of languages.
> > Switch-reference is a property of the complementizer system (at > > least in Muskogean languages). In GB syntax, relative pronouns are in that > > system, so having switch-reference on the relativizer like you do seems a > > very natural possibility. > >Oh no! Have I unconsciously supported GB syntax?!?! ;) Oh well. I'm >sure there is an even better way of explaining this functionalistically.
There's more than one way to skin a cat. Or, as we say in Telek: Mebisko'uubiiwa, mexamiduubiwaado. "You can use water, or you can use sand." Marcus Smith "Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatsoever abysses Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing." -- Thomas Huxley