Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: A Survey

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Saturday, October 4, 2003, 12:15
En réponse à Rob Haden :

>I'm curious to see everyone's answers to the following questions:
Although I'm not finished working on it yet, I can as well answer those questions for Maggel.
>1. Does your language(s) distinguish between active ("X breaks Y"), middle >("X breaks (apart)"), and passive ("X is broken (by Y)")?
Maggel has *plenty* of voices, but *no* passive :)) (the best it has is an impersonal, but it can be used with other voices so it's not a voice by itself :)) ). It has active, middle, reflexive, reciprocal (which can be used in the singular! :)) ), a voice I don't know how to call yet but the term "possessive-reflexive" is what comes to mind right now, a voice I call "sensitive" for lack of a better word, and various applicatives (voices that add a participant) among which a causative. The voices are used as follows: - the active voice is pretty self-explanatory. - the middle voice, as has been said, is used for actions one does for one's own benefit. - the reflexive voice is used when the subject and object are one and the same. - the reciprocal voice is used when at least two people are acting on each other (in the singular, the reciprocal voice indicates that there are only two people involved and they act on each other). - The "possessive-reflexive" voice corresponds to French "je me lave les mains", i.e. to indicate that the subject owns the object. It *does* change the valency of the verb (it promotes the object to subject, gets rid of the subject, which appears as possessive affix on the new subject, if necessary). - The "sensitive" voice is a strange kind of applicative voice: it adds a participant: the witness of the action. It corresponds to constructions in English as "I saw him do that", "I heard her call the police", etc... But it doesn't specify the manner of witnessing, only the presence of a direct witness. You can indicate the manner of witnessing through adverbs if necessary. - I don't think I need to explain what a causative voice is ;)) . As for the other applicatives, I don't know yet which ones there are, nor how they work. I know they promote an oblique complement, but I don't know yet how.
>2. If the answer to #1 was "yes," what method(s) does your language(s) use >to make some/all of the above distinctions?
Not sure, but probably a combination of synthetic and periphrastic forms, in non-obvious distributions ;))) .
>3. What method(s) does your language(s) use to distinguish between basic >nouns and verbs of the same root (i.e. "a hit" vs. "he hits")?
Irregular derivations mainly. But I still have to work on the verbs, so I don't know exactly how it works. Christophe Grandsire. You need a straight mind to invent a twisted conlang.