|From:||Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>|
|Date:||Monday, February 20, 2006, 15:49|
Br'ga verbs each have exactly one argument. Some verbs are more case-like (to be an
agent, to be an undergoer, and so forth), but it makes the language definition
much more rational to refer to them all as verbs, because they can be altered
by the same derivational operations as the rest of the class, and that way
every non-particle word (and I'm trying to avoid particles) is made up of
exactly one noun (including pronouns and noun classes) root and one verb (or
case-oid verb) root.
I'm having a real tough time delineating semantic space, though. To make it work,
different verbs attach by default to a noun in a specific semantic role.
"Learn" attaches to the subject being learned, and might better be described as
"to be studied", for instance, and "traverse" and "ascend" (i.a.) attach to
their paths, and again might be better thought of in the passive voice.
Anyway, I'm having difficulty determining the core argument that makes up the essence
of any given verb. You can dig without a tool, for instance, but you have to
dig *something*, a hole, a grave or a fortification, or whatever. It's tough to
figure out in some cases though, what the right argument is -- in typing this,
I have realised I'm tending instinctively towards "undergoer", but that's
probably not a universal definition. It might just be that that's the cultural
mindset of the Br'ga people, but I'd like to keep the language and people a
little less one-track than that.
Any suggestions, hints, or pointers?