Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Ayeri: How would you name this construction?

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 22, 2006, 20:59
>Well, strikingly, Finnish does something very similar, but showed me >that it's not benefactive or dative 'to'/'zu', but more of an >allative. IIRC, Finnish adds -ma + -CASE to verb stems to form similar >stuff, maybe some finnoglot could clarify usage and give more usages >possibly with different cases. And maybe tell us how it's called in >Finnish.
>So this 'MA' is a morpheme that makes a certain form of the Finnish >verb that allows adding case endings. Searching for a name, I'd >probably call it either supine (as Yitzik said), infinitive, or maybe >gerund.
IIRC, it's called the "2nd infinitiv". The 1st (the quotation form of verbs) is marked by "a" and is used primarily with auxiliary verbs. Olen lukemassa. be.1SG read.2INF.INESS I am reading. Voin lukea tuon. can.1SG read.1INF that.ACC I can read that.
>Further, I think the above structure is also used to form progressive >forms in Finnish (which are often formed with locatives in natlangs). >Just use adessive case of the -MA verb form: > > Olen tanssimassa. > dance-'MA'-ADE > 'I am dancing.' > >Lit.: 'I am at dancing.'.
Well -ssa is actually the inessiv. Anyway, I think the basic meaning is approx. "complete situation", but many words are lexicalized this a bit further to get concepts: eg from kuole- "to die", we get _kuolema_ "death", or from juokse- "to run", the (slightly archaic) _juoksema_, "a distance that is/was being run". The first meaning is usually used with possessive suffixes to denote an action performed by someone (yes, in the past.) It's not unusual to see both meanings in use productively, frex: eilen lukemani kirja yesterday.LOC read.2INF.POSS1SG book.NOM the book I read yesterday verenpainelukemani blood.GEN_pressure.NOM_read.2INF.POSS1SG my blood pressure reading Iness/elat/illativ indeed create progressivs too (to/from/doing), as
>From this parallel between IE and Finnish, I'd find benefactive case >surprising for such constructs, but why not.
I could delve into how this could be related to benefactives and the Ayeri construction, but it's late and I'm not thinking very clearly any more. I could be overlooking some very obvious stuff already. John Vertical