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Teonaht Verbs Finally Up

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Friday, March 5, 1999, 8:17

> The "to-me is a house" construction, using "be" plus a preposition in > place of "have", is extremely common among the world's languages - perhaps > *more* common than having a separate verb "have". I've seen this > construction in Latin, Russian, Hindi, French, Celtic, Hungarian, Turkish, > and numerous African and Amerindian languages. My conlang Tokana > has this construction as well: > > Imai he halma > to-me is book > "I have a book" > > Matt.
Yes, and so does Teonaht, too... I've finally managed to put up my longest file yet on Teonaht verbs, and Teonaht has three ways of expressing possession: _harem_ for volitional, alienable possession: it implies willed ownership of something that you acquired. _aned_ for non-volitional, inalienable possession: it implies natural possession of something that you can't give away (especially parts of the body, mental and physical attributes, family members, etc.), and the "to be" form with preposition, which as Matt has pointed out is one of the most common constructions world-wide. In Teonaht, it is used to express alienable possession of something you didn't kill yourself to get, like the pencil that was lent to you or the car you've rented, or your parents' house you live in.. But what I think is unique about the way it's developed in T. is that the choice of preposition changes the tense--for this particular construction only: pommol li kyam aiba "with me this book" means you have it now. tanddol li kyam aiba "from me this book" means you had it once, but have let go of it. tool li kyam aiba "for me this book" means you'll have it in the future. I wonder if any other languages do this. These last two are delightfully ambiguous, because they also mean "This book is from me" (i.e., as a gift to you), and "this book is for me" (as a gift from someone else). Context makes it clear, I hope. Tand and to are used in verbs of giving as well as possessing, and I'll be eager to see what snares I run into. The new page on Verbs will outline what I've done with agent status and the volitional/non-volitional split, and it gives in exhaustive detail the prefixual tense particles that T. has been admired for. But help: I've had some trouble coming up with a term. I have four constructions with the gerund/infinitive that use a preposition to create adjectives. I have the passive gerundial for a construction that creates what we think of as a passive; I have the potentive gerundial for a construction using the gerund/infinitive that creates a phrases expressing the potential for activity of a subject: "doable," "workable," "likable," etc. The progressive gerundial creates a phrase that expresses something sorto of like the "the singing canary/The woman is singing." And I have another such construction that creates a phrase that expresses the habitude or inclination of a subject: "talkative," "creative," "innovative," "murderous," "gluttonous," and all manner of adjectives that can describe the tendency of a given thing, but I don't know what to call it. Since I made up the word "potentive" for the first category, (although I think I heard that somewhere), I've tentatively put down "aptitive," knowing that this is next to a neologism. Can anyone help me out? You'll need to go to the page to look at it: Passive gerundial Potentive gerundial Progressive gerundial Aptitive gerundial??????? I've scoured Trask for a suitable term and can't find one. Thanks, Sally Caves Niffodyr twelyenrem lis teuim AN... "The gods have (inalienable) retractible claws (potentive gerundial)," Mai linda rembaht le Yrlo o rembaht HA... "But eternal wisdom does the God have (alienable although inalienable) eternally. The one God is always volitional whatever verb he uses, and he owns his attributes in Teonaht grammar.