Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Adverbs of motion in agglutinating languages

From:Julia "Schnecki" Simon <helicula@...>
Date:Friday, September 2, 2005, 7:35

On 8/31/05, Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...> wrote:
> Basque (being a case-y language) would use something like beherantz > (behe-rantz), which means "towards the bottom" (the root is behe, > bottom). You could also form a verb meaning "to go down" from the same > root... I'll take a guess at beheratu, which, looking at my > dictionary... is correct!!! Well, anyway... beheratu = behe-ra-tu = > bottom-allative-perf.part. So for instance "I went down" would be > beheratu naiz, or literally "I to-the-bottom-ed".
That's quite similar to the way this kind of thing is expressed in Finnish. Finnish has a number of roots with meanings like "above/upper part" (_yl-_), "below/lower part" (_al-_), "outside" (_ul(k)-_), "inside" (_sis(ä)-_), "behind" (_ta(k)a-_) and so on. They inflect in the same way as ordinary nouns, but many of these roots don't occur as "normal nouns" anywhere -- they only occur with the inflectional affixes of the local cases (inessive, adessive, allative, etc.; Finnish has a whole bunch of them) and are used as as adverbs or postpositions of time or place. For example, (1) talon ulkona "outside the house" (but there is no word *ulko or some such meaning simply "the outside of something") (2) pöydän alle "(towards) under the table", as in "the toddler crawled under the table" (but, again, there is no word *al or whatever meaning "the space below something") (3) olen ulkona "I am outside/outdoors" In examples (1) and (2), _ulkona_ (essive case) resp. _alle_ (allative case) are used as postpositions; in example (3), _ulkona_ is used as an adverb. However, there are also some perfectly normal nouns that can be used as such or as adverbs resp. postpositions. For example, _läpi_ (inflectional stem _läpi-/lävi-_) means "hole", but it can also be used as a postposition meaning "through" (sometimes in its basic form _läpi_, sometimes with an inflectional affix as _lävitse_). And like in Basque, there are some verbs that consist only of such an adverb or postposition stem plus a verb ending: läpi "hole/through" -> lävistää "to perforate, pierce" ohi "over" (as in "it's all over now") -> ohittaa "to pass (over)" yli "over, above" -> ylittää "to cross, traverse, jump over, etc." Hope that helps... Regards, Julia -- Julia Simon (Schnecki) -- Sprachen-Freak vom Dienst _@" schnecki AT iki DOT fi / helicula AT gmail DOT com "@_ si hortum in bybliotheca habes, deerit nihil (M. Tullius Cicero)