Re: Mediopassive/labile verbs; was: very confused - syntaxquestion
|From:||Irina Rempt-Drijfhout <ira@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, July 7, 1999, 16:13|
On Wed, 7 Jul 1999, FFlores wrote:
> > _le cyla_ "to wash", _le grela_ "to shave", but also less
> > obvious ones like _le rada_ "to make up one's mind" (literally
> > "to swear to oneself"), _le tisa_ "to do the right thing"
> > (literally "to serve oneself"), _le loda_ "to presume" (literally
> > "to favour oneself").
> Are these idiomatic or phrasal verbs, or do people recognize the
> connection between the normal verb and the reflexive form?
People do recognize the connection; the normal verbs are also in
frequent use, and I can't think offhand of a single Valdyan verb that
occurs *only* in the reflexive form (like in Dutch _zich schamen_ "to
be ashamed", there's no non-reflexive *_iemand schamen_ "to shame
someone", that would be _iemand beschamen_).
It's just that the reflexive meaning has become an idiom, while
people are very much aware that the connection exists, to the extent
of punning on it:
ni valean na tisan, arne do le tisan
NEG king-acc NEG serve-1s self but RFL serve-1s
"I don't serve the king, but I do what's right" or
"I don't serve the king, but I serve my own ends".
Anshen rada le radut
Anshen-dat swear-inf RFL swear-3s
"He decided to swear to Anshen" (i.e. to join the Order of the Sworn
of Anshen, a religious knighthood). This seems to call for the
reflexive: *_Anshen le rada le radut_ "He decided to swear himself to
Anshen", but that doesn't happen because of the special meaning of
(Because in this special case the dative of _Anshen_ is the same as
the nominative - it used to be a long "e" in the dative but it's been
shortened in a vowel shift - it can also mean "Anshen (god's name)
decided to take an oath" but that doesn't make sense in the culture.
> > Many verbs of motion also take this construction:=20
> I guess this is for the same reason that Spanish verbs take _se_:
> _irse_ 'to go', _meterse_ 'to get (oneself) into', _acostarse_
> 'to lie down', etc.
Yes, that's also my guess.=20
> In some cases the reflexive sense can be
> rationalized, but not in others. It seems as if we wanted to use
> only transitive verbs in principle, so for intransitive meanings
> we have to use _se_ (and the Valdyans have to use _le_).
Ah, that's a good explanation. I'll keep it in mind.
> I've been trying to follow this discussion, with uneven success
> so far.
Same here; somewhere halfway through it became too theoretical for me
and I caught up again when people started to post examples.
> In Drasel=E9q, the verb is inflected for passive or middle voice.
> What I call "middle voice" doesn't usually show an obvious reflexive
> aspect, but an action that doesn't "get out" of its agent, or a
> state that a subject imposes on itself. For example:
That makes sense. You go a lot further than I do in that, but I can
> Looking at these examples, it seems to me that my middle voice is a
> kind of inanimate reflexive voice! The door can't close anything,
> even itself. The door can be closed, but even if I don't name the
> agent, it's hidden there.
Often Valdyan does that with impersonal constructions: _lea daysenat_
"it's raining". We *know* rain can't fall all by itself, but we don't
know who or what is dropping it to the earth either.
> Oh, thanks! I'd had never realized this on my own!<joyfully cries>
Me neither - shows once more what the list is for.
> PS I just took another look. I think there's some volitional aspect
> around this middle voice. It seems it adds pseudo-volition to things
> that cannot have a real one, and lowers the volitional aspect of
> animate agents, as in _vuos=FAvotasait_ above. That is, it transforms
> patients and agents into experiencers... !?
I'll have another look at the reflexive and the impersonal
constructions, and report back - when I finish my translation job :-)
Varsinen an laynynay, saraz no arlet rastynay.