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Re: Georgian Case (Was Re: Polysynthetic nouns)

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Saturday, June 5, 2004, 5:47
From:    David Peterson <ThatBlueCat@...>
> Thomas wrote: > <<Just call it "ergative";=A0 "narrative" case is nonstandard among > anglophone Kartvelologists.>> > > <<snipping the rest>> > > As anyone can see by reading Thomas's post, I made dozens of mistakes. > [...] First of all, my presentation was an attempt to explain Stephen > Anderson's *deeply* flawed explanation of the Georgian verbal agreement > system [...] I created my own based on this website: > > <> > > which is a descriptive grammar, not (to the best of my knowledge) written > by a linguist. All the terminology is different, and there's a lot > that isn't explained that needs to be. I blame this site for my confusion > about the preverbs! ;) Just kidding: It's all me.
No, no... you actually got the basic gist of it. And having looked at that website, I can now see why you'd come to your conclusions. He says some things there that are either plainly false, or misleading, as when he states that all intransitives take an argument in the nominative case.
> And what I meant by saying that preverbs are essentially meaningless is > that they're meaningless *inflectionally*. Of course they're derivational > prefixes. What I meant was that if you were going to try to attach > inflectional information to the preverbs, you'd be led down a long and > twisted road. My apologies for all the gaffes. Everything was done > from memory.
If you're interested in further research on Georgian, I'd suggest Howard Aronson's _Georgian: a Reading Grammar_. You can both teach yourself to read Georgian, and it gives a lot of good linguistic analysis in it to boot. It's also basically the standard reference grammar in the English language. Tschenkeli wrote a two volume German textbook several decades ago; it's out of date, but it has many good exercises. I would suggest that you *not* use George Hewitt's book because (aside from the fact that the guy is a Georgia-hating Abkhaz nationalist and therefore kinda scary) it is just a little better than pedagogically useless, and frequently misleading as to structure. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637