Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: MNCL5 Phonology and Orthography

From:Alex Fink <a4pq1injbok_0@...>
Date:Thursday, November 15, 2007, 11:56
On Wed, 14 Nov 2007 17:35:27 -0500, Jeffrey Jones <jsjonesmiami@...>

>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.
>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? 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? 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"?
>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.
>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". 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? 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?
>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