Re: Tagalog & trigger idea: I'd like comments. :)
|From:||H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, November 17, 2004, 7:06|
On Tue, Nov 16, 2004 at 08:38:47PM -0500, Kit La Touche wrote:
> trying to fit TF into a natlang paradigm:
Hehe, be prepared for a misfit. :-)
> it looks like TF has a rich case system, word-order focus and no verb
> voice. possibly also some sort of topic-comment structure.
There are only 3 core cases. Well, maybe 4, if you consider the
unmarked absolutive a case (it is used only in stative constructions
and zero-valent "verb" constructions). Or 5, if you count the
vocative, but the vocative is weird in the sense that you can tack on
one of the 3 core cases to it and turn it into an NP simultaneously
vocative and originative, for example.
> as to whether it's accusative or not, what case would "boy" be in "the
> boy died"?
> and what case would "boy" be in "the boy took a walk"?
> if they have the same case, and it's the same as that of
> agentive-type cases elsewhere, then it's essentially nominative.
Usually the originative is used for agentive purposes, e.g., "to
ignite" uses the originative for the ignitor. However, the originative
is also used for the thing being seen in the verb "to see". (Good luck
rationalizing that one.)
> if it has the same case as patient-type cases elsewhere, then it's
> essentially ergative.
Not always. It depends on the verb. For example, with "to kill" the
person killed is conveyant, but with "to hit", the person being hit is
receptive. Similarly, with "to walk" the walker is in the conveyant,
whereas with "to speak" the speaker is in the originative.
> if they both take different cases, then you're doing what looks like
> theta-role assignment directly on verbs, or something like.
Yeah, the cases are semantically rather than syntactically selected.
However, it doesn't quite use the agent/patient paradigm, but instead
a source/destination/transferee paradigm.
> i've been told this is known from one australian language, so it's
> not out of the realm of natlangs.
Cool, do you know which one?
> my remark about a topic-comment structure is an attempt to explain in
> natlang-terms the difference in implied object for "kissed" in the
> sentence below.
Hmm. I think the difficulty stems from trying to map Tatari Faran
cases on the traditional subject/object paradigm. If one is willing to
stretch the definition of "object" to cover all verb arguments (i.e.
everything following the verb) and call the fronted NP the "subject",
then the difficulty disappears: the "subject" of the 1st clause is the
fronted NP, which is identical to the "subject" of the 2nd clause, and
hence it is elided. A simple case of identical subject deletion. The
case marker is retained, however, because otherwise it becomes
ambiguous which semantic role the "subject" plays in the 2nd clause.
(My explanation for the retention of the case marker in the 2nd clause
is that historically, the case markers were pronouns.)
> trigger case, as i understand it, goes something like this:
> there is a case called "trigger" which some noun phrase in a sentence
> will have. what theta-role is assigned to this argument is determined
> by another morpheme on the verb, which says "trigger gets theta-role
Ah, I see. So triggeriness is specifically referring to that
particular syntactical marking of the trigger noun and case marking on
the verb, rather than a more general case of the "special
relationship" between the verb and the trigger that I was postulating.
Ignorance is bliss... but only until you suffer the consequences!