Teonaht Verbs Finally Up
|From:||Sally Caves <scaves@...>|
|Date:||Friday, March 5, 1999, 8:17|
JOEL MATTHEW PEARSON wrote:
> 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"
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
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
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
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
split, and it gives in exhaustive detail the prefixual tense particles that T.
has been admired for.
I've had some trouble coming up with a term. I have four constructions with
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:
Aptitive gerundial??????? I've scoured Trask for a suitable term and can't
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
although inalienable) eternally.
The one God is always volitional whatever verb he uses, and he owns his
attributes in Teonaht grammar.