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Re: Ethical dative (was: Question about transitivity etc.)

From:Wesley Parish <wes.parish@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 3, 2003, 9:52
What does interest me in relation to the dative and Yhe Vala Lakha, which uses
a dative form for an "existential" statement

|nyaberiti, ya ratwa, ya nipia| - "(to be a) Man is both a summons and a

Are there any other languages which use the dative in such a manner?

Wesley Parish

On Mon, 02 Jun 2003 23:49, you wrote:
> Christophe Grandsire scripsit: > > And I'm not talking about those "inclusion of the listener" forms > > frequent in colloquial speech like "... et je te lui ai flanqué une > > sacrée raclée !", where "te" has no function in the sentence except > > conviviality :)) (strangely enough, Basque is the only other language I > > know which has the same feature). > > Actually, it's common in the world's languages. Latin had it, e.g.: > > at tibi repente venit mihi Cani:nius > but you-DAT suddenly comes-3SG-PRES-IND me-DAT Cani:nius-NOM > > where "tibi" does not literally mean that Caninius comes to the speaker > *for the listener's benefit*, but simply that the listener is thought > to be concerned in the action somehow. This is the so-called "ethical > dative" (Gk. _ethikos_ 'character'), and can occur with all persons: > > quid mihi Celsus agit > what-ACC me-DAT Celsus-NOM does-3SG-PRES-IND > > similarly does not mean "What is Celsus doing for me?" but simply > "What is Celsus doing?", with the "mihi" expressing the speaker's > interest in the answer. Third-person examples exist but tend not to > be as clear. > > The ethical dative occurs in a wide variety of other languages as well: > > German: Er ist *mir* ein guter Freund = he is a good friend of mine. > > Middle English: Thus me pileth the pore, that is of lute pris = Thus > they rob the poor ("me" shows the speaker's concern about it), > who are of little worth. > > Early Modern English: There are more things in heaven and earth > than are dreamed of in *your* philosophy (Hamlet to Horatio). > > Spanish: Juan *me* le arruin'o la vida a esa chica. = Juan ruined the > life of this girl (speaker concern again). > > Classical Greek: *emoi* dh ou crh oupoute tauta poihsai = *IMHO* one > never ought to do that. :-) > > I have also found references to its use in Polish, Czech, Estonian, > Romanian, Ingush, and Warlpiri. > > -- > Henry S. Thompson said, / "Syntactic, structural, John Cowan > Value constraints we / Express on the fly." > Simon St. Laurent: "Your / Incomprehensible > Abracadabralike / schemas must die!" >
-- Mau e ki, "He aha te mea nui?" You ask, "What is the most important thing?" Maku e ki, "He tangata, he tangata, he tangata." I reply, "It is people, it is people, it is people."