Re: Mir ist kalt -- How to analyze this sentence?
|From:||Paul Roser <pkroser@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, June 21, 2007, 20:09|
On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 22:27:34 +0100, Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...> wrote:
>In the last episode, (On Wednesday 04 Tamuz 5767 16:29:57), Paul Roser wrote:
>> On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 10:39:54 +0200, Andreas Johansson <andjo@...> wrote:
>> >Quoting Carsten Becker <carbeck@...>:
>> >> Hi,
>> >> The topic already says it all. How do I analyze the sentence
>> >> "Mir ist kalt"? That's German for "I feel cold", and breaks
>> >> down into 1sg.DAT is cold. But what is the subject in this
>> >> sentence? "Kalt", despite it's an adjective?
>> >Some grammars will tell you that _mir_ is a "dative subject" here. I don't
>> > like this analysis, among other reasons because there is no obvious
>> > reason verbal agreement should change just because a subject is put in an
>> > odd case form - one'd expect **_Mir bin kalt_.
>> The so-called dative-subject is actually fairly widespread, occuring in not
>> only German, Icelandic and Russian, but also Marathi, Hindi/Urdu and IIRC
>> some Northeast Caucasian languages as well, one of it's most common uses
>> being to mark a non-volitional experiencer.
>> One of the articles I found proposed the theory that it was a feature of
>> Indo-European (or perhaps Proto-IE) that finite (ie realis) verbs had a
>> nominative subject and non-finite (irrealis) verbs had a dative subject.
>> However, since I don't know that much about (P)IE, I can't comment on
>> whether that's feasible or not.
>(non-)finite = (ir-)realis? Is that your usage? It would seem to be odd to
>conflate the usual meaning of "(not) expressing tense or aspect" with that
>of "expressing reality or non-reality of action".
If memory serves, the article was talking about non-finite verbs in the
context of modals, and equated them in some fashion with irrealis (not
unreasonable for most modal usages of verbs). I merely extended the comparison.