Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: THEORY: Tagalog "Voice" (was: Voice, Mood, and Tense)

From:Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>
Date:Thursday, June 24, 1999, 19:24
Nik Taylor wrote:

>Kristian Jensen wrote: >> The difference between voice and the focus system lies in the valency =
>> the verbs. In voice languages, when you change the voice of a verb, =
>> change its valency as well. In trigger languages, the valency remains =
>> same across different focus patterns. > >While your references to trigger languages are interesting, they are >often confusing to me, since I don't know even the basics about them. >Do you know of any good resources (preferably online) about trigger >systems? They're so utterly fascinating to me that I'd like to be able >to experiment with them.
There are very little, if any, _good_ resources online about trigger languages, let alone Tagalog. Most of the online Tagalog resources=20 that I have seen deal with the language on a very superficial level.=20 But a good introduction to Tagalog structure is Schachter's article=20 on Tagalog in Comrie's "Major Languages of the World". There is=20 supposedly also a good grammar on Tagalog (which I have had no=20 incentive to purchase). I think its What I know of trigger languages is mostly through a semi-native=20 speaker intuition I have as a semi-native Tagalog speaker. So=20 unfortunately I do not know of many references for the subject.=20 Based on my seminative speaker intuition and a few resources, I=20 have created my own theory as to what exactly a trigger language=20 is. From what I have read, there does not seem to be any concensus=20 among linguists on what triggers really are.
>> In both verbal forms "bumili" and "binili", the valency between these >> two has not changed. That is, the number of required arguments of =
>> of these verbs is exactly the same. In these cases, the required >> argument is the trigger itself: > >Do all verbs in trigger languages require only one argument? >
From what I can tell, that is exactly the case. My theory basically=20 postulates that trigger languages are languages with only one=20 required argument. So the notion of subject versus object cannot=20 apply.
>> Patient Focus >> "Ang sabon ay binili" >> TRG soap INV buy:PAT >> The soap was the item that was bought. >
I realize now (as a semi-native speaker) that I have made a small=20 error in my examples. The sample should read: "Sabon ang binili" soap TRG buy:PAT The soap was the item that was bought.
>Couldn't that just be translated as "The soap was bought"? >
Yes it could. But I wanted to differentiate between voice languages=20 and trigger languages. Also, it is difficult already in the first=20 place to make a literal English translation of Tagalog sentences. So=20 I chose to make a literal translation that best illustrates how the=20 verb is being used in the sentence. In the above example, the verb is=20 being used as patient-nominalized predicate: "...the item that was=20 bought".=20 Indeed, my theory also stipulates that verbs in trigger languages are=20 always nominalized first before being used as a predicate. In other=20 words, only nominal predicate constructions exist - hence, the notion=20 of subject versus object cannot apply. If I translated it as "The=20 soap was bought", then I'm not showing how the verb has been=20 nominalized. Whereas, "...the item that was bought" is a better=20 translation of a verb for "buy" that has been nominalized as the=20 patient. -kristian- 8)