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Re: Question

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 10:59
>but i was thinking of a case that i thought i had heard of (although i may >have dreamt it) >it was a finnish case and it has "marry" as action being received and "have >sex" as the non-received version >i dunno >it came to me while i was cleaning tables at work
Yes, this is called a telic/atelic distinction and it's present in many Uralic langs. The telic, or completed, or resultativ action is marked with the object in the plain accusativ (which, as I just wrote in another thred, usually looks like a singular genetiv or a plural nominativ), while the atelic, or uncompleted, or irresultativ form is marked with the object in the partitiv case. The verb you had herd of - _naida_ - indeed works like that, but usually the semantic gap between the two meanings is narroer. Another commonly cited example is the verb for "to shoot": when telic, the meaning is approximately "to shoot dead"; when atelic, approximately "to shoot at". Or, randomly chosen example, "to look": usually atelic (because there is nothing to finish), but the telic form is used for constructions like "to watch the TV program (all the way to the end)", "to look for a place for something (and find it)", or "to check that smTN is doing smTN" (a bit arcaic) You may have noticed that the difference usually does not involve the object's volition to receive the action, however. Not even in cases where this is explicitely possible and likely, like "to convert, to turn away" in the passiv form: _Harri käännytettiin_ "Harry.NOM was converted" (successfully - but brainwashing is not out of the question) _Harria käännytettiin_ "Harry.PART was being converted" (still underway - ambiguous to whether it will be successful or not) But if you want the recipient's volition to be the part that matters, a similar construction indeed could work. I'm not sure what you could call it tho. John Vertical


Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>