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Re: Thoughts on Tarsyanian verbs

From:Carsten Becker <naranoieati@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 28, 2005, 17:58
On Wed, 28 Sep 2005, 02:01 CEST, Tom H. Chappell wrote:

 >> * The basic paradigm is: <stem> + (T)AM + person + S
 > I had to read further to figure out what the " + S" meant.

I didn't want to explain it twice.

 > I like the " + S" idea.

Verbs agree with the subject in case, why not.

 > It makes Tarsyanian's voice system an "information-salience" voice
 > system, among the three super-types of M.H. Klaimans typology of
 > voice systems in his book "Grammatical Voice"; at least, if I
 > understand both you and him correctly, it does so.

What does "information-salient" mean?

 > Other languages fitting into that super-type are some Mayan languages
 > and some Philippine languages.  The Philippine languages fit into a
 > type he called "focus-salience" voice systems.

If you refer to trigger systems, T. is not supposed to have
that. Ayeri has it to some extent.

 > There are some verbs, surely, in which the Experiencer (verbs of
 > emotion, judgement, or mental attitudes) or Perceiver (verbs of
 > sensation, etc.) may be central, along with the Stimulus (as opposed

The stimulus is the force that affects the experiencer, no?
Actually, when having experiencers, I think I should split
verbs based on volition, that's easiest. OTOH, it would be
likely to have a fluid-S system then, not a system like I
wanted where the verb tightly governs the case of its S

 > to the Patient, sense the Experiencer or Perceiver is Affected, and
 > the Stimulus is not); but, you may not wish to separate these out
 > into a different lexical class unless you want to complicate your
 > voice system by having both a "basic voice" system (i.e. some verbs
 > are Active and some are Middle) and the "information-salience voice"
 > system you already have.  (Many languages do in fact have voice
 > systems of "mixed" type, if Klaiman's book is a reliable guide;
 > usually one of the "types" is dominant -- at least, among his
 > examples, that was the case.)

I don't see (yet?) why I should not divide between
Experiencers and Patients. See, experiencers are essentially
indirect objects being the subjects of sentences. German has
this feature and Icelandic makes even more use of S=DAT
constructions. Why do experiencers affect the voice system?
Seems that I can't follow your point here, sorry. If I
should decide that there are nouns that cannot take one or
two of the mentioned theta roles, of course passives and
antipassives must be used to make nouns fit. But if all
nouns can take every role, then there is no need for voice,
except maybe middle voice, but even this one can be avoided.

 > BTW I have read that in some languages which have a "construct state",
 > the "construct state" is the bare, unmarked stem -- no definiteness
 > markers, no case markers, no number markers, etc., no affixes of any
 > kind.  In some such languages, any occurrence of a noun that
 > isn't "construct state" has to have some kind of marker or other on
 > it.  I'm sorry I can't think of a reference.  I have also seen, (I am
 > sure, but I can't think of a reference,) that there is at least one
 > language which does have a specific marker for "construct state".

Weird, I didn't expect that. Possession as the default
case -- those little capitalists ;-)

 >> Hope you liked it?
 > Yes, indeed!  I liked it a lot.  I look forward to getting
 > time to
 > study it.

Thank you.

 > I should have some time around Thanksgiving to do some of the things
 > I've been telling people all year I was going to do when I got the
 > time.
 > Chances are, I won't ever find time to do all of them.
 > Thus Time doth make liars of us all (well, maybe just of
 > me).

Not only you ... I know this problem good enough myself.
Well, you'll see more given that I feel like coming up
with more until Thanksgiving -- over here, that'd be
already on coming Sunday, but IIRC the American
Thanksgiving is sometime in November or December.


"Miranayam cepauarà naranoaris."
(Calvin nay Hobbes)

Current projects:


tomhchappell <tomhchappell@...>
tomhchappell <tomhchappell@...>