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Mediopassive/labile verbs; was: very confused - syntax q.

From:From Http://Members.Aol.Com/Lassailly/Tunuframe.Html <lassailly@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 6, 1999, 18:06
Dans un courrier dat=E9 du 06/07/99 17:00:09  , Lars a =E9crit :

> --- another class is called 'causative' because the sense of the > _transitive_ construction is 'causative' compared to the intransitive. > =20
it isn't. i strongly oppose this - my only opportunity for that ;-) this is a recently widely spread, "logical" trend i don't understand. cause and finality are different. read Plato. listen to Michael Jackson. intransitive isn't reductible to "x causing y". "x seeing y" is not "x causing y to be seen". "z shows y" is not "z causing x to see y". this kind of wrong simplification only evidences today's mathematical cul-de-sac and a-culturation where unsemantic linguistics leads us. retrospective aspectivation does exist. i met it.
> The morphology and syntax of a English verb construed transitively is > exactly the same across the classes of labile verbs, and indeed for > pure transitive verbs as well. The same goes for intransitive uses. I > see no reason for claiming that a subset of the labile verbs are in > some special magical 'mediopassive voice' when used intransitively. > =20
i agree. but the fact that all of them are mechanically intransitive in both or troth of english and some of its as close relatives as japanese may tell us something.
> Also, this classification is arguably purely descriptive, by which I > mean that we do not have to assume that language users classify verbs > this way --- they may have a pair of 'lexicon entries' for each labile > verb, giving the separate meanings of transitive and intransitive > uses. Trask's 8 classes then describe the logically possible relations > between a pair of senses, or at least those found in English. > =20
indeed : sense, meaning, semantics, oops !
> On the other hand, Jennifer's language has a morpheme that gives a > verb form a sense that is either reflexive or passive according to the > nature of the subject. This is in fact exactly what the voice called > mediopassive in PIE did, and what mediopassive voices do in many other > languages, so I don't really know why this sense of the word is being > dismissed as irrelevant. > =20
yeah... i didn't think of that. or maybe Jennifer is a native english speake= r=20 ? who knows ?
> Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <thorinn@...> (Humour NOT=20
>=20 > =20
mathias (don't take it wrong - i'm on vacation and i'm no linguist) mathias