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Verb Classes

From:Joe Mondello <rugpretzel@...>
Date:Monday, June 12, 2000, 19:48
In a message dated 6/12/00 3:39:49 AM Eastern Daylight Time, steven@OLYWA.NET

> Comments are interspersed between lines of original message. > > > 1. Verbs of physical movement, e.g. going (somewhere), fleeing, > approaching, > > etc. > > 2. Verbs of movement. This includes volitional actions such as picking > > something up, as well as non-volitional actions such as water flowing. > > 3. Spoken actions. Included are begging, offering, speaking, persuading, > > etc. a word such as 'persuade', however, could function in a different > class > > depending on case. if someone used their feminine charms to persuade > > someone, then the verb would probably be used with the 2nd class. > > 4. Mental actions. Thinking, believing, analysing, remembering, etc. > > 5. so-called "change" actions. at first, this applied only to actions in > > which the subject underwent some sort of major change, such as dying, > aging, > > growing, freezing, rusting, etc. > > 6. "Emotional actions". loving, hoping (although in certain situations, > > hoping could be considered a mental action), crying, smiling, laughing > > (although these are physical actions as well as emotional actions, to > > classify them as such would indicate that they weren't heartfelt.) > > 7. "Stative" verbs. sitting, owning, tasting/smelling like something. > many > > mental actions can also be categorized as stative with varying meaning, > for > > example, if one was said to love someone using the "stative" class > marker, > > that love would have to be an essential part of someone's character. > > 8. "Sensory" verbs. smelling, feeling, hearing, etc. > > Overall, I like this scheme. There are some things I question. > > Class 6: "emotional actions" Some of these just aren't actions (hope, > hate, etc.). Some of these are just actions (smile, cry, etc.). A > speaker can't always tell whether actions such as the latter are heartfelt; > quite a few people get better at faking such responses as they get older, > and then of course, you've got the people who either are actors or should > have been. I think the speakers of your language would have to be > excellent at discerning sincerity for the contrast between smile-6 and > smile-1 to be useful. I'd just put cry, laugh, etc. in class 1, and call > class 6 "emotions." >
One could categorize laughing, crying, etc. into class 2 (I assume you meant class 2, not class 1), but i think it would reflect a rather cynical attitude towards the laugher/cryer/etc. Thanks to the flexibility of the system, both these options are possible, but had I a conculture to go along with the language, I would probably make putting such actions in class 2 an insult. Also, there are situations in which one would want to use such "emotional actions" with class 2, for example, when cutting onions, crying would be a mere physical action.
> Class 1 comprises at least two kinds of verb: intransitive verbs of > volitional motion (go) and transitive verbs of volitional motion (flee, > approach). > > Class 2 comprises at least two kinds of verb: transitive verbs of > volitional action, and intransitive verbs of non-volitional motion. > > Do you want to be consistent about the distinction between volitional and > non-volitional? If so, maybe you should separate the kinds of verbs > you've got in class 2. > > If you're making distinctions between verbs of motion and other verbs on
> hand, and verbs that stand for volitional actions on one hand and > non-volitional actions on the other, what you've got is four classes. Let > me substitute the word "travel" for "motion," since most actions involve a > motion of some kind or other, but so-called "verbs of motion" usually refer > to verbs that imply a trajectory of some kind: > > travel/volitional: flee, run, roll, go, approach, turn (change
> travel/non-volitional: flow, fall, roll, go, approach, turn (change > direction) > non-travel/volitional: write, pick up, file, penetrate, mark, turn > (rotate) > non-travel/non-volitional: sneeze, cough, penetrate, mark, turn (rotate) > > Yes, a number of verbs will fall into more than one class, but this is NOT
> defect in your scheme. In fact, if enough verbs fall into more than one > class, your scheme could serve as a way of semantically cross-referencing > the subject of the verb, at least some of the time. (Maybe not in > sentences like "Wally hit John," but probably in sentences like "Wally ate > the pineapple.") > > Be on the lookout for verbs that are only non-volitional in English, but > that could be volitional and non-volitional in your language. e.g.
> a volitional/non-volitional contrast in the inflections, one verb could
> "fall" with one ending and "drop to the ground" with another.
kolax sr~ (non-volitional, 1.movement) -to fall kolex sr~ (volitional, 1.movement) -to jump down/off kolax wam (non-volitional, 2.action) -to drop (non-volitional) kolex wam (volitional, 2.action) -to drop (volitional)
> > Class 5: Is dying an action in the same sense that writing is? I'd
> these processes, but I defer to the judgment of semantics experts on that > one. BTW, your class 5 verbs could fall into the
> class I just described.
Dying (siv-) is a very interesting stem in rodeys. In general it takes the "change" class (though I really like your term, "process", and may take it.), though theorhetically any class could be taken to indicate cause of death. in addition, volitional and non-volitional endings indicate whether one died by his/her own hand. as always, the so-called "stative" class can be used to simply say that someone "is dead": sivax wam -die 2 (by physical means, such as getting crushed or bleeding to death) sivex wam -commit suicide 2 (by such physical means) sivax san -die 6 (of one's emotions, die of a broken heart) sivex nal -commit suicide 5 (by any means)
> > Class 3: Do "spoken action" verbs encompass verbs of communication that > pertain to modalities other than speech? Is "write" a class 3 verb?
This comment presents the greatest problem to the system. I'm now considering either changing the "spoken class" to the "expressed class", which would encompass spoken, gestured and written actions; or creating a different class which would govern non-verbal communication. A solution I'm leaning towards is to put gestures in the "physical actions" class and written actions into the spoken actions category: sey sebre lay zey wam tam she tell love hers 2 him she tells him that she loves him (with actions) sey neromr~al goze ra she in-book wrote 3 sounds alright to me. But to use class 3 in a sentance such as "she writes a book" doesn't seem right to me. Perhaps its because the spoken class behaves more immediately in most sentences. A possible solution to the sentence "she writes a book" would be compounding classes: sey koze romr~al rawam she writes book 3-2 Emphasizes both the physical and communicative aspects of writing. This seems like a suitable compromise solution.
> > If it is, then it can fall into both classes 3 and 2. I wrote-3 a book. > I wrote-2 a symbol. >
Well there you go, one step ahead of me!
> "persuade" is not only accomplished by speaking and actions. Facts can > persuade without the actions involved in speaking and caressing.
This is where associating the class with an object becomes useful: hraya ab senoyra abma fobedex sr~ xa tamoz facts about those-people persuaded to-leave 4<--[him] the facts persuaded him to leave (the mental action is his)
> > Class 7: Are you sure that "sit" and "wait for" can be properly > classified as "stative?" I don't know, but if I were you, I'd
> the definition of that term.
Perhaps 'stative' isnt the correct tem. if anyone could tell me what would be a more appropriate term, please do. As far as 'sit' is concerned, the classes almost indicate aspect: nadnex an -be sitting down 7 nadnex wam/sr~ -to sit down 1/2 Class 7 is used with redex an (wait for) because it seems the most appropriate. of course it could be augmented by other classes: oz dam hajitor rede tam an mother his time-long wait him 7 His mother has waited for him for a long time.
> > Be on the lookout for verbs that fall into both classes 7 and 1: sit-7 = > to be sitting, sit1= sit down; stand-7 = to be standing, stand-1 = stand > up. >
One step ahead of me again!
> > Each verb is made up of a stem and a suffix. the suffix distinguishes > > volitional/non-volitional. In addition, each verb, when used in a > sentence, > > must be accompanied by an indicator of one of the above classes. at > first, > > this class referred specifically to the action and its subject and served > to > > disambiguate homonyms, e.g.: > > OOPS! I wrote some of the above before seeing this part. Sorry. > However, I think that non-volitional/volitional can be worked into the
> system. Consider the fact that speaking, & thinking will always be > volitional, while undergoing a process will always be otherwise.
This is not necessarily so in rodeys! Let us look at fam- "think": famex xa -think about (volitional, mental) famax xa -realize (non-volitional, mental) famax nal -occur to (non-volitional, change) famax functions in two ways: sor vama zey xilve ra sor xa I realized [she lie 3 me] 4 I realized she had been lying to me. korzevr~ vama nal sor solution occurred 5 me The solution occurred to me.
> > I think you're going to have to spend a lot of time classifying verbs by > which sets of categories they can belong to. However, if you enjoy the > time thus spent, the end result will be fascinating.
I have enjoyed it so far. I think as long as I classify while deriving and creating words they won't pile up and become a pain.
> > BTW, where are your existential and copular verbs?
The language has no copular verb, but it has a copular adjective, p-, which only occurs in the past and future: tam boy soln~dand he was teacher sey poyn soln~dand she will-be teacher In the present tense, the initial consonant of the first word is voiced: zey soln~dand she's a teacher
> > I like the way that you use your endings to disambiguate homonyms and > distinguish different ways of angering people. I still don't understand > the last example: > > [snip] > > > tam gedne sondal-in nal > > he broke glass---->[5: change] >
The -in is a case ending which indicates that the class refers to the inflected word. In this case, the glass undergoes a change.
> > Which emphasized the fact that the glass is broken. Without 'sondal' > being > > marked with the -in suffix, the sentence would mean that breaking the > glass > > fundamentally changed the sentence's subject. A similar sentence would > be: > > > tam gedne sondal wam > > he broke glass [2: movement]
The absence of any inflections indicates that the class, movement, applies to the subject, he. therefore he moved, causing the glass to break.
> > > which simply indicates that it is because of some physical movement of > ours > > that the bottle broke. > > > Joe Mondello > > > Hope this helped. Correct my errors at will! > > Jim
I cant thank you enough for your detailed analysis. The questions you raised have helped me a great deal. Joe Mondello