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USAGE: Miapimoquitch directionals

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Monday, June 16, 2003, 15:58
Hey all.

I've been working on Miapimoquitch derivational morphology, and I
thought I'd present some stuff on directional suffixes and predicates
which has more or less congealed now. First, here's some general
information about the morphological structure of the Miapimquitch
clause. (This is best viewed in a monowidth font; there's tables and

||                        CLAUSE                       ||
||  CLITICS  ||           PREDICATE           || QUANT ||
|| su= |     ||      |    BASE/STEM    |      ||       ||
|| pe= | le= || n-   |--------+--------|      ||       ||
|| ha= | wa= || l-   |  ROOT  |  -LEX  | -DIR || =nke  ||
|| ti= | ku= || qa"- |        |        |      ||       ||

This table is to be read as follows:

The ROOT and LEXical suffixes (if any) together form the BASE.
The BASE marked prosodically for phase and number forms the STEM.
The STEM with transitivity marking and DIRectional suffixes (if any)
form the PREDICATE.
(PREDICATES can combine together to form complex PREDICATES; more on
this below.)
The PREDICATE with person and modal CLITICS and QUANTification (if
present) form the CLAUSE.

I've been working on derivational processes which contribute to the
formation of the predicate, specifically the lexical and directional
suffixes, and how they interact with complex predicates. The easiest
way for me to sort this out has been to work with predicates indicating
motion. Here is the system I've worked out.

There are three directional suffixes (so far, though I don't think it's
likely to change):

-si  'towards'
-hu  'away from'
-wea 'general motion; within, about'

Any root indicating motion must have a directional suffix affixed:

lupa- 'walk'
lupa-si 'walk this way'
lupa-hu 'walk that way'
lupa-wea 'walk around'

wusi- 'fly'
wusi-si 'fly this way'
wusi-hu 'fly that way'
wusi-wea 'fly around'


There are also independent predicates which can indicate locations or
directions such as _anai_ 'up(wards)', _nuu_ 'down(wards)', _tunpa_
'in, into', _sea_ 'out of', etc. These predicates may compose with a
predicate indicating motion to form a complex predicate. In tabular
form, this looks like:

             || towards         away from     | general motion
up(wards)   || anai ROOT-si    anai ROOT-hu  |
down(wards) || nuu ROOT-si     nuu ROOT-hu   | ROOT-wea
into        || tunpa ROOT-si   tunpa ROOT-hu |
out of      || sea ROOT-si     sea ROOT-hu   |

Taking the root _taka-_ 'move' gives rise to the family of related

anai taka-si 'come up'
anai taka-hu 'go up'
nuu taka-si 'come down'
nuu taka-hu 'go down'
tunpa taka-si 'come in'
tunpa taka-hu 'go in'
sea taka-hu 'come out'
sea taka-hu 'go out'
taka-wea 'move about; wander'

Lexical suffixes extend roots to form bases. They are used to indicate
instruments, locations, indefinite objects (in the spirit of noun
incorporation) and various other kinds of concrete "lexical" meanings.
For example, _-tpu(i)_ can mean 'stomach, belly; with the stomach or
belly; under, beneath'. It's composition with the root _taka-_ 'move'
means 'crawl; to go about on the belly'. The lexical suffix _-te_ means
'leg, foot; with the foot; at the bottom of'. Its composition with
_taka-_ means 'walk; go about on foot'. The directional suffixes can be
added to these complex bases to give a large array of derivationally
related predicates.

anai taka-tpui-si 'come up crawling'
anai taka-te-si 'come up on foot'
anai taka-upi-si 'come up the road' (-upi 'path, road')

A couple of sample sentences:

wanuu takaupitehu [wanuu taGa?uBit1hu]
wa= nuu  taka -upi  -hu
1=  down move -path -away
'I went down the road.'

waanai tattakatesi [wa:nai tattaGat1si]
wa= anai ta-       ttaka   -te   -si
1=  up   RED:PAUC- move:UN -FOOT -towards
'A few of us are coming up on foot.'

There's still a lot more that I need to learn about lexical suffixes
and other predicate types, but there's the directional system in a

Dirk Elzinga

"I believe that phonology is superior to music. It is more variable and
its pecuniary possibilities are far greater." - Erik Satie


JS Bangs <jaspax@...>
Tim May <butsuri@...>