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Re: The CHS puzzle; was: Genitive relationships (WAS: Construct States)

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Sunday, March 7, 1999, 18:05
On Sun, 7 Mar 1999 11:11:43 -0800 Sally Caves <scaves@...>
>Here are the seventeen features that Celtic and Hamito/Semitic >"share" in common--called the CHS puzzle, pp. 5-6: > >1) Conjugated prepositions (prep. + pronominal object in a single >word. >2) Word order: VSO, N-Modifier, Prepositions >3) Relative clause linker: invariant particle, not relative pronoun. >4) Relative clause technique (oblique): copying, not gapping, > i.e., "the bed, I slept in it," meaning "the bed that I slept in."
It took me a while to figure out what this is talking about: "hamitta ba yashanti"
>5) Special form of the verb peculiar to relative clauses.
I don't understand this.
>6) Polypersonal verb (subject and object both marked).
E.g., _haragtani_, "you killed me"
>7) Infixing/suffixing alternation: Object marker is infixed to > the verb if there is a preverb, suffixed otherwise.
What's a "preverb"?
>8) Definite article in genitive embeddings may occur > only on on the embedded noun: "house the-man" ="the man's > house." >9) Nonconcord of verb with full-NP subject: verb can fail > to agree with the subject, depending on word order.
This sounds familiar, i seem to remember learning somewhere that the verb only has to agree with the nearest noun, but i'm not sure. Can you describe this more detailed?
>10) Verbal Noun (Vn: object in genitive), not Infinitive > (object in same case as with finite verb).
I'm not sure i get this.
>11) Predicative particle: in copular or nominal sentences, > the predicate is marked with a particle homophonous > to a "local" preposition: "He (is) in a farmer"="he is a >farmer."
This doesn't sound right...._hu b'ikar_? I'd say _ikar hu_...
>12) Prepositional periphrastic: BE + Prep + VN, e.g., > "He is at singing" [TEONAHT'S "she is with singing"]
I understand this, but it doesn't seem exactly right...the only example i can think of is something like _hu nimtza koteiv_ ("he is found writes"), which uses the verb _nimtza_ "is at, is found (at)", instead of a preposition. Or is this more like _hu bikhtiva_? ("he (is) in-writing") That doesn't sound exactly right to me, although it's sounds like it's missing an adjective, like _hu `asuq bikhtiva_, "he('s) busy writing".
>13) DO periphrastic: DO + VN, e.g. "He does singing." >14) Notional adverbial clause expressed as "and" + finite > clause >15) Nonfinite forms usable instead of finite main-clause verb >16) Word-initial change, expressing a variety of syntactic > functions
I don't understand any of these four...
>17) Idiomatic use of kin terms in genitive constructions, e.g. > "son of sending" = messenger; "son of land" = "wolf" > > ACTUALLY, this last is pretty neat. I didn't know that > about either Celtic or Semitic.
This is like the expression _ish el ahhiv_, "man to his brother" found in the Babel Text, meaning "to eachother". Some other examples would be: _bat mitzva_, "daughter of (the) commandment(s)" = obligated to obey the laws. the Aramaic _bar qattala_, "son of killing", which translates roughly as "dead man walking". _bat qol_, "daughter of voice", meaning the sound of speech or an echo, that you'd hear from a megaphone or from God. _ben adam_, "son of humanity", meaning "a human being" _ben hhorin_, "son of freedom" (=a free man). _bat ya`ana_, "ostrich". (interestingly, another word for "ostrich" is _ya`ein_, which seems to be the male form of _ya`ana_, which doesn't seem to exist by itself) _bat tzehhoq_, "daughter of laughter", meaning "smile". and _bat `ayin_, "daugher of eye" = "pupil". Away from daughters and sons, there're also _eim harehhov_, "mother of the street" = "intersection", and more relevant to Conlang-L, there's _eimot qeri'a_, "mothers of reading" = consonants used to represent vowels (alef, hei, yud, and vav).
>I'd have to reread major portions of the dissertation to tell >you what Orin and others have said about possible points >of contact. I'll let you linguists wrangle with this, since, as >I said, I didn't write it. I merely find it fascinating. > >Sally Caves
-Stephen (Steg) ___________________________________________________________________ You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail. Get completely free e-mail from Juno at or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]