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Re: Strange construction pops out of nowhere

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Saturday, August 10, 2002, 4:32
Pablo Flores wrote:
>SYV has several enclitic copulas: one is the plain >"essive" copula |de|, and then there's the "transformative" >copula |mo| (I need a better name for it too) and the >"causative" one |komo|. > >Yue leade. "Night is black." >Yue wo leamo. "This night is becoming black."
I call this "inchoative" in Kash; "inceptive" is also orthodox.
>Ekheba leakomo yiyuech. "Clouds are turning the night black." > >The causative copula |komo| is intended to mean >"cause to become X". I thought it would work with >the same structure as |de| and |mo|, which just >attach after the predicate, but of course |komo| >needs another argument. I figured all three arguments >should be case-unmarked, since core cases (and >predicates) always are. I played with word orders >and everything seemed too ambiguous, or unwieldy >for more complicated noun phrases.* So I just >stuck the genitive mark |yi-| on the patient. >Now, is this natural? How would you classify >such a construction? How do you handle such >predicates in your conlangs?
Why the genitive? (Why not, eh?) Is there an accusative case? That would be the most usual choice I think. (What's -ch? definite?)-- Is _komo_ literally "cause-become" or just a more general causative marker? Of course most adjectives take on a "becoming" sense when they are made causative-- The room is dark. (stative) The room darkened/became dark. (inchoative) The teacher darkened the room (caus., really caus-incho.) (I.e., can -ko occur alone? Or could you have -kode 'cause to be...'? Though there isn't a lot of difference between 'cause to be...' and 'cause to become...') If word order is fairly fixed SVO, there seems no compelling need to case-mark the object; position suffices. Kash has these same derivations-- ondreni yapambara 'the night is black' ondre-ni ya-pambara night(nom)-"def" 3s-(is)black ondreni yayumbara 'the night is becoming black' (yu- inchoative prfx; irreg. base bara < pambara) kahamaç irumbara ondreni 'clouds darken(ed) the night' kaham-ç i-ruñ-bara ondre(acc)-def. cloud-pl. 3pl-CAUS-black night-def. (inanim. nom/acc are identical/zero as it happens) With an animate noun: roçeni yapambara 'the sea is black'...kahamaç irumbara roceñi (roçe-n(acc)-ni) 'clouds blackened the sea'. Where you will run into problems is with causatives of normally transitive verbs, if SYV can do that...... Kash handles this is a somewhat counter-intuitive way: hari yanunji saliye 'Harry(nom.) met Sally(dat.)' vs. amami yarundunji hariye(dat.) salin(acc.) 'my father introduced Harry to Sally.' lit., my father caused [Harry met Sally] where Harry becomes the object of "cause" and Sally remains the object of nunji but switches to acc. because two dative DO's in a row are not permitted. You could say: amami yarundunji hariye (i) saliye 'my father introduced Harry and Sally'-- the correct reading is that he introduced them to an unspecified third person or group; but in colloquial, and frowned-upon, usage it can also mean he introduced them to each other.


Pablo David Flores <pablo-flores@...>