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Re: THEORY: Noun-adjective order in Georgian (and a comparison to Arabic)

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Friday, June 16, 2000, 21:29
At 14:56 16/06/00 CDT, you wrote:
>I found the printout of all of P. J. Hillery's grammatical sketch of >Georgian at the website (a Georgian/Kartvelian cultural >site). Studied noun declension since I was looking for parallels with IE >and Uralic... and found this convention for a reversal of noun and >adjective. Normally, the order is adjective-noun, and both are declined >differently (but very similarly). A more 'poetic' order of noun-adjective >may be used (just as in English), but in that case, both words are declined >as nouns. > >Here's an example. I'll decline 'new window' in both orders: > Adjective-Noun Noun-Adjective >Singular >Nominative axali panjri panjri axali >Ergative axalma panjrma panjrma axalma >Dative axal panjrsa panjrsa axalsa >Genitive axali panjris panjris axalis >Instrumental axalo panjrit panjrit axalit >Adverbial axal panjrad panjrad axalad >Vocative axalo panjro panjro axalo >Plural >Nominative axalebi panjrebi panjrebi axalebi >Ergative axalebma panjrebma panjrebma axalebma >Dative axaleb panjrebs panjrebs axalebs >Genitive axalebi panjrebis panjrebis axalebis >Instrumental axalebi panjrebit panjrebit axalebit >Adverbial axaleb panjrebda panjrebda axalebda >Vocative axalebo panjrebo panjrebo axalebo >
That's a fine distinction, and really makes sense in a language where adjectives stand normally in front of nouns. You want to put the adjective after the noun? That's okay, but to be consistent let's make it an apposition and thus the adjective has to be declined as a noun :) . In all languages that I know of, apposition stands always after the noun it refers too, whatever the normal word order in a noun phrase (NA or AN). I guess it's a good candidate for a universal. Anyone can come up with a counter-example?
>The phrase in N-A order, which grammatically functions as two nouns (the >latter equivalent to the English appositive, or a Greek literary epithet), >acts like Arabic, but word order is N-A, not A-N. And both nouns are marked >with definite article (al-kitaab-ul-'aswaad[u] 'the black book'; >al-kitaab-al-'aswaad[a] 'of the black book'). If there are any cases of A-N >order, I know of none. (Georgian does not use any articles, definite or >indefinite; the -eb- affix is the normal way of forming plurals but -n- can >be found in some cases, and there is no dual number.) > >I'm doing more study on Georgian. It's an ergative language, but an unusual >case of an ergative language. The subject can be nominative, ergative or >dative (possibly a remnant of an accusative case), depending on what >tense/aspect/mood/status the verb is in the clause. (Word order is normally >SOV.) >
Interesting. Looks a little like my Tj'a-ts'a~n which has all four cases 'ergative', 'absolutive', 'nominative' and 'accusative' (plus a dative used also as the unmarked case for copular sentences) depending on the relation set by the verb between the subject and the object and what is the status of each one. Really a kind of active marking I think but more complex.
>Tech grammar is going to be very similar, indicating noun case by a >combination of case endings (marking primary case) and prepositional >particles (marking secondary case); I expect there to be ten or more >suffixal cases and an unknown number of prepositions which change meaning >with different combinations of suffix-marked cases. Subjects can be >nominative, ergative or accusative, depending on what role of control the >subject has over an action or state, etc. >
In Tj'a-ts'a~n, the core cases are basically used this way: ergative: animate volitional agent nominative: animate unvolitional agent or inanimate agent absolutive: non-agent, non-patient accusative: patient I use 'agent' and 'patient' because in Tj'a-ts'a~n it's not the cases that show what is subject and what is object but the agreement with the verb (in the verbal complex, there are two 'slots' for the subject and the object where agreement affixes in gender at least and even case are put). Cases show actual functions, thus a noun in a local case can be subject or object of a verb! Christophe Grandsire |Sela Jemufan Atlinan C.G. "Reality is just another point of view." homepage : (ou :