Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Making it volitional

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 28, 2001, 3:23
----- Original Message -----
From: claudio <claudio.soboll@...>
To: <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2001 4:09 PM
Subject: Re: Stupid questions

> your volitional aspect sounds interesting for me.
Thanks! Firrimby! (But whom are you talking to, Claudio? Me? Issytra? The Teonim? Someone else?)
> i categorize the following kinds perceptions (=senses): > hypernym: 1. perception > hyponyms: 1.1 visual-perception > 1.2 accoustic-perception > 1.3 odor-percetion > 1.4 flavour-perception > 1.5 fumble-perception > 1.6 inner-body-perception (e.g. headache, the feeling of a full
stomach, inner pains, etc.)
> 1.7 balance&direction perception (e.g. to determine spatial
directions, and to keep balance)
> from those i create generic compounds which at first dont distinguish
aspects. (without aspect-markers)
> those generic forms are often missed in natural languages because e.g.
"hear", "listen" are aspect-affected already. Very interesting! Show me some examples.
> variants of visual perception i can scratch out of my memory are: > see,look,watch,observe,notice > > now thats how i would categorize them: > aspectless ~ see > aspect of volition = look > aspect of inattention = ?
The English language doesn't have a verb "ignore" that expresses inattention/non-knowledge. "Ignore" always means willful "not noticing," whereas "ignorant" means unintentionally unknowledgeable. Conversely, "ignorant" cannot be used in English to mean "ignoring" someone. You cannot say "he was ignorant of her feelings for him" and mean "he ignored her feelings for him." Isn't that curious? In Teonaht, this distinction can be expressed thanks to the non-volitional variant. Of course there are shades of meaning that have to be expressed by other verbs: willful not knowing (obstreperousness) unwillful not knowing (obtuseness), willful not seeing, willful not seeking, etc.
> aspect of occupation = watch > aspect of sudden notice ~ sudden visual notice > aspect of search/seek = peer, or peek > aspect of detection (to have found something) = ? > aspect of analysis/examination ~ observe[1] > aspect of persecution ~ observe[2]
> im sure man could add ca. 10 more that would make sense in everyday-usage
as compound with the term" visual-perception"
> > i have the feeling that the simple distinction between "volitional" and
> doenst make it.
Doesn't "make it" for what? For you? It makes it fine for Teonaht. And it isn't a simple distinction. Merely a convenient one. It is merely how Teonaht structures its verbs. Many languages have "simple" categories for more complex things. In English, for instance, we use the term "object" to express a number of grammatical relationships that have formal distinctions in inflected languages. That doesn't mean, though, that the distinctions aren't there in English and can't be categorized. We use the word "subject" to mean agents, participants, and performers of transitive as well as intransitive verbs. The simple term "subject" can also mean the passive recipient of an action. As we've seen, these can be differently marked in ergative languages. It's how the people of a particular language group see their own language, and that's how the Teonim see Teonaht--in terms of volitionality, non-volitionality, or the stative (which is similar to, but not exactly the same as non-volition). Teonaht verbs are threefold: the -rem verbs which express volition (with its many ranges of deliberateness), the -ned verbs which express non-volition (with its many degrees of passivity or non-awareness); and the -ndi verbs which express states of being. For the different aspects you have indicated above Teonaht has different verbs. But its non- volitional verbs can also cover ranges of meaning besides the senses, and which acquire very specific meanings. For instance the word "laugh" is reactive when used as a -ned verb, but malicious when used as a -rem verb. One laughs at a man's joke because one reacts. But you laugh a man out of town. One "happies," however, as an -ndi verb because one is jolly--at that moment. If one is jolly generally, then an adjective is used. If you laugh to encourage someone, you "good-laugh" him. "Laugh" in general, is seen as Satanic and harmful. Angelic laughter is a different verb, and is more akin to rejoice, or find the comic harmony in something. The terms in Teonaht for these grammatical distinctions are Euab, Pelme, and Eskkoat: "Self," "Mind," and "Shadow," meaning the Stative, the Volitional, and the Experiencer or non-volitional. I think it makes it. :) Sally Caves Rin nored, ivra tal ebra "euanib zef"; ma cel enue ivra tal tyr ebra "euanib zef, send mantwe manttes-lo." Man kabuos-ry, to ouar euanib esry, send ivra ebras "euanib ly." Ma kwa'r mehdom to al euab esry euanib? Speaking of death, you can say that "a man is gone." But you can also say in life that "a man has gone and will come back." When I die, I will be gone, and they will say, "she is gone." But how can I be gone to myself?


John Cowan <cowan@...>
Sally Caves <scaves@...>