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
>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
>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
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 understandable....it sounds like
it's missing an adjective, like _hu `asuq bikhtiva_, "he('s) busy
>13) DO periphrastic: DO + VN, e.g. "He does singing."
>14) Notional adverbial clause expressed as "and" + finite
>15) Nonfinite forms usable instead of finite main-clause verb
>16) Word-initial change, expressing a variety of syntactic
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
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.
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