Re: Tagalog & trigger idea: I'd like comments. :)
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, November 18, 2004, 17:32|
Ray Brown scripsit:
> >3) The trigger NP is not itself marked for semantic role; it is either
> >unmarked or it is given a semantically neutral mark meaning "this is
> >the trigger".
> Like Tagalog _ang_ or _si_, i guess.
> >>[In the answer "Ein Buch" is the topic; the focus is "zum Geburtstag".
(I sensed something a little odd about this before, but didn't know what.)
It seems very strange to have an indefinite NP as the topic, since the
topic is presupposed information, unless indeed "ein Buch" can mean here
"a certain book" = "a particular book I'm not naming". "Das Buch" would
be a much more natural topic.
> > Was das Buch angeht, das hat sie ihm ZUM GEBURTSTAG geschenkt.
And indeed this version does show "das Buch".
> Oh dear. This quite the opposite that I have been understanding from Pablo'
> s web-page and from John. I had understood that the NP marked with 'ang'
> or 'si' was the _trigger_, not the target.
The form I'm using here is what I learned from the article on Tagalog
by Paul Schachter in Comrie ed., _The World's Major Languages_, which
very clearly explains the terminology and the reasons behind it (and is
the ultimate source of any clarity in *my* explanations).
> >Those that do not have a trigger affix:.
> Now should we be speaking of the 'trigger affix' or the 'triggered affix'.
"Triggered affix", technically. But "trigger affix" is common form.
> But you are saying the NP is the target. Are you saying the affix is the
> trigger or is the verb+affix? I suppose it triggers the target by causing
> the target to loose its role marking & to be marked with _ang_ or _si_.
There is nothing impossible about this analysis, but it's not the conventional
one. If we analyzed English subject-verb agreement by saying that the use
of "am" as a verb triggers the subject pronoun "I", we'd quickly get into
perversities, but the Tagalog situation is more symmetrical. Whether the
NP triggers the verb agreement (as is usually said) or the verb triggers the
use of a non-semantic particle on the NP is a more theoretical question.
Nevertheless, we conventionally say that the NP triggers the verb, just as
> Sorry, I do not follow how we can have a _trigger affix_ and a _trigger
> particle_. Either the NP is the trigger or the verb is the trigger. Either
> the affix or the particle is being _triggered_. I am finding the current
> terminology confusing.
"Trigger particle" is the particle marking the trigger as such. "Trigger
affix", which as you say should be "triggered affix", is the affix specifying
the semantic role of the trigger.
ObConlang: The engelang Voksigid is a non-trigger, semantic-case-marking,
verb-first language with an interesting relation to the ones we've been
discussing. Like Tagalog, it uses prepositions to mark the semantic
functions of the NPs. For example, "tor" marks an actor, and "tum" a
benefactee. But these same prepositions are *also* used as suffixes to
derive nouns from verbs, and all nouns (except names) are in fact
so derived. So:
dona tor donator tum donatum
Give (with-actor) giv-er (with-benefactee) giv-ee.
The giver gives to the recipient of the gift.
or more naturally
dona tor cercetor tum brodalen
Give (with-actor) seek-er (with-benefactee) be:brother-one
The seeker gives to (his) brother.
The suffix "-len", which I have glossed "-one" above, converts a stative
verb ("be a brother") in this case to a noun referring to something in
Voksigid details at http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/3141/voksigid.html .
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