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Re: describing names

From:SMITH,MARCUS ANTHONY <smithma@...>
Date:Sunday, August 4, 2002, 17:24
On Sun, 4 Aug 2002, [iso-8859-1] Majken M wrote:

> 1. Her name is Mary > 2. Her name is beautiful > > The first sentence tells me her name, while the second > only describes it. But the only difference is the last > word. There is no way to be sure that she isn't called > Beautiful, except that is an unusual name. How do > other languages solve this problem?
In Telek, the first sentence would probably be said as: Mari-id so-joguuk. Mary-ACC AsO-be.named 'She is named Mary'. The verb is interesting in this sentence. Telek is an Active language (or Fluid-S, as some would call it). The semantics of 'be named' is clearly stative, so the subject of the sentence is marked with the stative inflection. However, the sentence is transitive, and the object of this verb (the name) cannot ever trigger agreement on the verb. This is one of the very few cases in Telek where a transitive verb has a stative subject. The reason for this oddity is believed to be historical. The active counterpart is _uguuk_ 'to name'. Thus, some think _joguuk_ 'be named' is a lexicalization of _i_ 'passive' + _uguuk_ 'to name', with some kind of irregular sound change of <u> -> <o>. (<i> -> <j> is common before vowels.) If this is true, there has definitely been reanalysis involved here, because usually the passive marker precedes the agreement morphemes. That is, the sentence above could theoretically have been said as: Mari-id i-s-uguuk. Mary-Acc PASS-AsO-name 'She is named Mary.' Some speakers would reject this sentence on the grounds that you can't passivize _uguuk_ 'to name', but others would accept it. I don't think anyone would produce it spontaneously. The second sentence in question would be translated as: so-joguuk-um-ul oongkis. AsO-be.named-NOML-NOM euphonous 'Her name is euphonous.' So, here the verb _joguuk_ 'be named' is nominalized to give the meaning 'name'. For the verb, you would use _oongkis_ 'euphonous, beautiful to hear'. If her name were beautiful to look at (ie. when written), you would use the verb _siiba_ 'beautiful (to see)' Marcus