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Re: Mir ist kalt -- How to analyze this sentence?

From:Jeff Rollin <jeff.rollin@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 20, 2007, 21:28
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. > > -Pfal
(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". Jeff. -- "Please understand that there are small European principalities devoted to debating Tcl vs. Perl as a tourist attraction." -- Cameron Laird


Elliott Lash <erelion12@...>