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Re: Is this polysynthetic?

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Sunday, January 23, 2005, 7:35
From:    Yann Kiraly <yann_kiraly@...>
> I started to scetch out a polysynthetic language, but I'm not sure > if it realy is polysynthetic. Here's the only sentence I have so far: > > juwa tetwanata ji ki. > juwa tetwa-na-ta ji ki. > > house-[placed initialy, marking it as the topic] go-[tells us the > object is the topic]-[tells us the subject's either ki, I or kwí, > you] [marks the verb as present imperfect active indicative] I.
> So, would you say this language is polysynthetic? If not, what is it > then?
Well, the definition of polysynthesis is so vague and used in so many different senses, it is difficult to really call *anything* polysynthetic without risking contradiction. But if we may call polysynthetic that language which evinces (at least some) features of all arguments on the head verb, then I would say this language qualifies, since some features of both subject and object are morphologically marked on the verb. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637