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THEORY: 'true' nature of nouns vs. 'illusionary' natur

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Thursday, April 22, 2004, 14:53
From Danny Wier:
> From: "Thomas R. Wier" <trwier@...> > > Eh? Under what definition of polysynthesis is there any doubt that > > Georgian verbs are polysynthetic? I mean, verbs inflect for the > > person and number of the subject, direct object, indirect object, for > > tense, various kinds of aspect, mood, a number of valence properties, > > "version", etc. > > I should've said that Georgian is polysynthetic, but not incorporating. Or > not as polysynthetic as Inuktitut or Cherokee.
That probably a good way to put it. Georgian doesn't have nearly as many 'sentential' modifiers like "seem" "want" etc. as morphological categories of the verb. These are done by subordinating one verb to another, as in many familiar languages. (Incidentally, Georgian can derivationally have incorporated nouns, but it seems to do so as frequently as English does with its noun incorporation.)
> I read something about > different types of polysynthesis, that some languages have "optional > polysynthesis" (French might fall in this category). German also has a level > of incorporation, but not polypersonalism.
Incorporation just happens to be one major characteristic of the polypersonal Eskimo-Aleut languages, but I would say it varies independently of polypersonalism.
> > It's not, actually. It's a split-S system, as it has two classes of > > intransitive verbs, one mostly for unaccusatives that patterns like > > the notional direct object of first conjugation transitive verbs, and > > one for unergatives that patterns like the notional subject of 1st > > conjugation transitives. The mixing you're thinking about concerns > > the behavior of precisely these transitives in the present series. > > (This is one area of the language I am currently researching.) > > That's what's called 'version' right? I'm reading the online grammar at > and it's confusing me.
No, version is a category of the verb, marked by the preradical vowel, that indicates whom the action of the verb affects, which may or may not be coreferential to the direct or indirect object markers. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637