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Re: The language formerly known as brz...

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Thursday, February 23, 2006, 14:06

Patrick Littell <puchitao@...> writes:
>... > If this is the case, it'd be a shame not to use preposition-to-verb > "incorporation" for the production of applicatives, etc. A popular > theory these days, from Mark Baker, is that at some level of > representation, applicatives are formed by incorporating prepositions > into the verb. (Not necessarily the phonological realization of the > preposition itself, but things such as its case-assigning features.) >...
German applicatives often transparently work like this: Ich schwimme. I swim. Ich schwimme durch den Teich. I swim through the pond. Ich durchschwimme den Teich I through-swim the pond. (Other examples are less obvious. E.g. the prefix 'be-' often forms applicatives (among other things), but the process is fossilized: laden ~ beladen, sprechen ~ besprechen, etc.) You say this is a 'popular theory these days' -- is this not quite obvious at least for German (and probably Ancient Greek and possibly others)? I'm not a linguist, you know, so my knowledge of linguistic literature is fairly limited, and also whether applicatives in other langs look totally different, so that theory might not me as obvious as it seems from a few German examples. Anyway, my conlang Qthyn|gai has a productive mechanism to turn case markers into valence modifiers that implement applicatives. This seems perfectly in line (it has no prepositions, but a lot of case markers instead). **Henrik