|From:||Barry Garcia <barry_garcia@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, February 10, 2000, 10:18|
I remember a few weeks back (or recently, I forget) someone mentioning
that they were unclear as to how trigger systems work. Well, today in the
library I was looking through the linguistics area of my school's library,
and came across a book on South East Asian languages.
The info for the book, incase anyone is wondering:
The Major Languages of East and South East Asia
Edited by Bernard Comrie
The book has a decent description of Tagalog as well as
Indonesian/Malaysian (among other languages). One of the paragraphs
explains how the trigger system in Tagalog works. To summarixe what they
said in my own words (since I'm not sure if posting the entire paragraph
is breaking copyright laws or not):
In trigger systems, it is the semantic role of the argument in question
that triggers the choice of the affix in the verb.
So, if the actor is designated as the trigger (by the subject particle),
one affix is used. If the trigger designates the patient as central, then
another affix is used. If the trigger designates the instrument by which
the action was completed, then the verb takes on the instrumental affix,
From what I gathered in the text, it is the subject marker (or particle as
they call it) that is the trigger. So, in Tagalog, for people it is "si",
and for things it is "ang". For the other arguments, in Tagalog it is "ng"
for things, and "ni" for people. In Saalangal for people they are "tu",
and "pi", and "yu" and "as" for things.
There were also several examples to help illustrate what they were talking
Mag-alis ang tindero ng bigas sa sako para sa babae.
AT-cont.-take:out tg storekeeper pat. rice drc. sack ben. woman.
-The storekeeper will take some rice out of the/a sack for the/a woman.
Aalisin ng tindero ang bigas sa sako para sa babae.
cont.-take:out-PT acr. storekeeper tg. rice drc. sack ben. woman
-A/The storekeeper will take some rice out of the/a sack for the/a woman.
Aalisan ng tindero ng bigas ang sako para sa babae.
cont.-take:out-DT acr. storekeeper pat. rice tg. sack ben. woman
-A/The store keeper will take some rice out of the sack for the/a woman.
Pag-alis ng tindero ng bigas sa sako ang babae
BT-cont.-take:out acr. storekeeper pat. rice drc. sack tg. woman.
-A/the storkeeper will take some rice out of the/a sack for the woman.
Pangaalis ng tindero ng bigas sa sako ang sandok.
IT-cont.-take:out acr. storekeeper pat. rice drc. sack tg. scoop.
A/the storekeeper will take some rice out of the sack with the scoop.
cont. - contemplated
acr. - actor
tg. - trigger
drc. - directinal
ben. - beneficiary
AT. - actor trigger
DT. - dative trigger
BT. - beneficiary trigger
IT. - Instrumental trigger
It also says that the subject marked as the trigger is translated as
definate, and the other arguments are either indefinate, or definate
(depending on preference and context). Usually in Tagalog, the order of
post verbal arguments is generally free, but generally the preference is
for the actor to be after the verb, in a non-actor-trigger clause, and for
the trigger or patient to be first in an actor-trigger clause (a little
confusing I know). Saalangal always prefers the actor to immediately
follow the verb, the patient after, and any other arguments follow.
Well, I hope this helps those of you who are unclear on trigger systems
as to how they work (basically). Reading that section sure has helped me
to understand better how sentences are constructed in Saalangal.
It's worth the risk of burning, to have a second chance...