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Re: MNCL5 Phonology and Orthography

From:Jeffrey Jones <jsjonesmiami@...>
Date:Friday, November 16, 2007, 0:01
On Thu, 15 Nov 2007 06:56:48 -0500, Alex Fink
<a4pq1injbok_0@...> wrote:
> >On Wed, 14 Nov 2007 17:35:27 -0500, Jeffrey Jones
>wrote: > >>I've attempted a different (and much longer) explanation of the grammatical >>voice suffixes. > >Taken together this is all quite clear. I do however get a better >high-level grasp of the system from the subject and object role table on >your morphology page.
Thanks. I guess I'll keep the table, although I don't know if it belongs in morphology or syntax.
>>MNCL5 "Participles" >> >>MNCL5 non-verb forms are sort of like participles in some other languages, >>only the same general system is used regardless of whether the stem is a >>verb-, adjective-, or noun-type stem. Of course, the noun- and adjective- >>stem forms aren't normally considered participles! They're mentioned below >>for completeness. > >Are there any fundamental differences between noun- and adjective-stems, >and verb-stems, beyond those accounted for by typical choice of argument >roles?
They differ in which TAM suffixes are likely to occur and in semantics.
> Can they all take verb forms, as well?
>>There are four types of participles in MNCL5. The 1st is constructed without >>adding any special suffix. The others are constructed with the following >>suffixes: >>2nd: -m- suffix >>3rd: -t- suffix >>4th: -g- suffix >> >>Which of these can occur depends on the word stem's argument structure. > >Would I be right to say that a given stem can in all cases take all >participle types >- whose subject role is among its arguments; and >- if there are multiple arguments (i.e. if the stem is transitive), one of >whose object roles is among its arguments ?
>That is, are there participles that one would expect to exist on argument >structure basis, but simply don't, or vice versa? > >>Whether or not the participle must be preceded by an "object" (in the >>genitive case) also depends on the argument structure. > >This is simply determined by transitivity = taking two or more arguments, >right?
Yes. I guess I should phrase it in terms of transitivity.
>Is it then ungrammatical to omit the genitive complement of a transitive >participle? I.e., how would I say "the dog that got bitten"? Introduce an >explicit argument, as "the dog that something bit"?
Yes. The indefinite pronoun |o| is used for that, as in _zo o baito hunda_. The downside of this is that I have to figure out the exact argument structure of every word.
>>For reference: >> >> >[...] >>Most noun stems, most adjective and other static verb stems, and some >>monovalent dynamic verb stems (those with involuntary subjects) have only >>the 1st participle. The verb stem participles are translated as either >>passive or active participles in other languages, > >English, at least. I'd be tempted to call it a quirk of English's own >alignment; granted, this is without stopping to reflect on how widespread it >really is.
I think most Germanic and Romance languages are similar. But maybe I should say English specifically.
>>depending on the aspect. > >[...] >>For noun stems, the object of a 1st participle is typically translated as a >>possessor: >> >>zo viro handa -- "the man's hand" > >Interesting. The analysis that had occurred to me of the same forms _zo_, >_no_ serving as pronoun and definite article is that the _-o_ is here >serving appositively, as opposed to as a genitive: _zo handa_ "hand (that >is) it.A" = "the hand"; not, as the genitive interpretation would have it, >"his hand".
Right about apposition, but _zo_ goes with animate _viro_, not inanimate _handa_, and _zo handa_ would still have to mean "his hand", since the need for an object/possessor takes precedence. "The hand" would have to be _no o handa_ (literally, "the someone's hand").
>Although I guess it's reasonable for "the hand" and "his hand" to be >expressed the same way too. Or is "his hand" _zo zo handa_? > >>The 3rd participle could be used like this: >> >>zo ruyo teilto fogla -- "the red-tailed bird" > >Neat, and logical. > >Which noun stems are transitive? Is _teil-_ among them?
Yes, body part names and kinship terms are the main types.
>If not, I suppose this might be a counterexample to my generalisation about >participle selection being determined by the set of argument roles. >I'm tempted to make some analysis involving something that behaves like a >verb-stem 'belong to' with participles 1 and 3, i.e. roles P and T, but with >no phonological form... but this doesn't quite work (and smells a bit like >overtheorising). Did you have anything like this in mind?
The static verb-stem |af-| meaning "belong to", does fall into this class, as in: Zo hunda afe Jonok. 3A-ADJ dog-PAT.SG belong_to-PRS John-THM.SG "The dog belongs to John." This allows the 1st participle of |af-| to act as a possessive quasi-suffix: Jonafo hunda John.GEN.SG-belong_to-ADJ dog-PAT.SG "John's dog" The same verb can also be translated as "have" if the P role argument is indefinite: Jonok afe hunda. -- "John has a dog."
>>3rd) no zo ciko geb'to libra -- "the book that was given to the child" >>The 3rd participle refers to what's given and the object to the recipient. >> >>4th) no zo viro geb'go libra -- "the book that the man gave" >>The 4th participle also refers to what's given, but the object refers to the >>donor. > >Interesting to see that when the subject role is the theme, the object role >isn't left to context to disambiguate. I take it that, when the theme >exists, patient and agent = recipient and donor are both likely to be >animate, and therefore would be pragmatically more confusible than the other >pair of arguments, and so therefore you brought in extra participles to >distinguish.
> >Alex