Re: Marking nouns with person?
|From:||Thomas Wier <trwier@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 6, 2005, 7:13|
> (Are there actually linguists who claim that _cihu�tl_ *always* means
> "she is a woman"? Thomas: is this what you mean by
> "omnipredicativity"? -- Do these people consequently translate a
> sentence such as "The woman loves her children" as "She-is-a-woman
> loves they-are-her-children"? Sheesh.)
Yes, that's literally the case. Andrews has hundreds of such
glosses in his 2003 redux of his earlier textbook on Classical
Nahuatl. The problem with omnipredicativity is not so much
that they think all definite entities are predicates in a sense
(along the lines "X such that it is this X"; I disagree with
this position, but it's been argued by prominent semanticists)
but that they go further and seem to confuse this with the
syntactic distribution of words.
I won't absolutely rule it out, but I am strongly opposed to the suggestion
that lexical categories are not universal; most such claims usually
turn out to be more complicated than originally envisioned (see e.g.
Henry Davis' work on Salish languages like St'at'imcets (pronounced
for the curious [Stl'atl'imxetS]).
> But anyway, I have no idea how either Nahuatl or Mohawk would express
> things like "I-the-woman do this-and-this" as opposed to "The
> woman does this-and-this" (i.e. whether forms like _nicihu�tl_ or
> _wakonkwe_, if it exists, can be used as subjects or objects in a
> sentence just like _cihu�tl_ and _yakonkwe_, or if they can only be
> used as sentences of their own). :-(
I believe the normal way to express it is "nisiwa:tl kichi:was"
(1SgS-woman 3SgO-do-FUT.Sg) "I the woman will do it", or maybe with
an emphatic pronoun too: "Newa nisiwa:tl kichi:was".
Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally,
Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right
University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of
1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter.
Chicago, IL 60637