Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Ditransitives again, was Re: Vjatjackwa (the result of all those sound changes!)

From:Doug Dee <amateurlinguist@...>
Date:Saturday, December 20, 2003, 2:40
In a message dated 12/19/2003 1:04:11 PM Eastern Standard Time,
isidora@ZAMORA.COM writes:

>>What was in that they were saying about African languages with two >>objects a couple of weeks ago? Those verbs worked differently than >>English ditransitives.
>Somehow, I don't remember even seeing the discussion, which is odd, because >I usually try to at least skim everything on the list, unless I absolutely >know that it is simply not of interest to me or too complicated to >follow. Do you remember anything about it that would allow me to search >the archives for it?
I believe that the message attached below was my contribution to the thread you're thinking of: Subj: Re: More questions Date: 11/26/2003 4:19:06 PM Eastern Standard Time From: Amateur Linguist To: CONLANG@LISTSERV.BROWN.EDU In a message dated 11/26/2003 1:53:42 PM Eastern Standard Time, paul-bennett@NC.RR.COM writes:
>> I can understand DO/O as meaning Direct and Indirect objects, but what >> does PO/SO stand for?
>Primary Object and Secondary Object.
>Some languages (mainly from Africa?) treat Indirect Objects the same as >Objects of single-object sentences (Primary Object), and Direct Objects of >two-object sentences have their own method of being marked (Secondary >Object).
One might argue that English has Primary vs. Secondary objects, and that the DO/IO way of looking at objects is just a Latin-derived tradition upheld by English teachers. Consider: 1. They gave me a book. 2. I was given a book. 3. ?A book was given me. When you make a ditranstive Engish sentience into a passive, it's perfectly natural for the "Indirect object" to become the subject [as in 2] (just as the single object of a monotransitive sentence becomes the subject) but distinctly odd (at least in my dialect) for the "direct object" to become the subject [as in 3]. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the general rule cross-linguistically is that if there's a distinct dative case for recipients etc. (as in e.g. Latin), then the DO of the ditransitive is generally treated like the object of a monotransitive, but if there is no such case (as in English), then it's the recipient ("indirect object") that is generally treated like the object of a montransitive. Doug


Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>