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Re: Miapimoquitch text: Eye Juggler (long)

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 10, 2004, 20:29
On Mar 9, 2004, at 8:32 PM, Tim May wrote:

> Questions about the second and third clauses > > Dirk Elzinga wrote at 2004-01-21 08:31:15 (-0700) >> >> 2. [?i's1a 'ka:sup\"t1Ga"t1Ga "?as1'w1G1N"gi:] >> isea kaasuptekateka asewekenki >> >> n- sea kaasu -pte -ka -teka a= se- <Vk> wenki >> TR- out.of remove:U -EYE -UN -RED:DIST DS= 3poss <COLL> eye >> >> They were taking out their eyes >> >> 3. [ju'nanai 'w1pp1p\"t1Ga"t1Gahu ?i '?auGai] >> yunanai weppeptekatekahu i aukai >> >> yu= n- anai weppe -pte -ka -teka -hu i a= >> ukai >> and= TR- upwards throw:U -EYE -UN -RED:DIST -away.from OBL DS= >> sky >> >> and throwing them up into the air >> >> This clause provides a good example of the structures possible in >> complex predicates. The first element of a complex predicate hosts >> the proclitic string (here represented by _yu=_ 'and') and is >> inflected for transitivity. The final element of a complex >> predicate shows phase and number marking and bears lexical and >> directional suffixes. > > > I'm not sure that I understand transitivity in Miapimoquitch. What's > the relation of _kaasuptekateka_ to _isea_, to begin with?
It's a complex predicate. Sometimes the meaning of a complex predicate is compositional, sometimes it is not; but it is always interpreted as a single instance of the category Predicate. In this respect, complex predicates are a lot like English verb + particle constructions; some are compositional, some are not, but they are generally interpreted as single instances of the category Verb. I don't have a lot of complex predicates fixed yet, though there is a definite class of them which are fairly clear to me -- those involving motion. No surprise that both of the examples here are predicates involving motion. My idea for transitivity in Miapimoquitch is that it is an inflectional category of predicates; in principle, any predicate can be marked for this category. This also implies that predicates are grammatically intransitive by default, though I haven't worked out what this would mean for every predicate stem in the language. But that is the design principle I'm following. Inflectional categories of predicates such as transitivity, number and phase occur once in a predicate, whether that predicate is simple or complex. Transitive complex predicates receive transitivity marking on the first element rather than the second, while number and phase are marked on the second (or last) element rather than the first. For simple predicates, of course, all of these inflectional categories are marked on the single predicate word. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga "I believe that phonology is superior to music. It is more variable and its pecuniary possibilities are far greater." - Erik Satie