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Re: An unusual incorporation scheme

From:Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>
Date:Friday, December 9, 2005, 10:52
On Fri, 2005-12-09 at 09:53 +0000, Peter Bleackley wrote:
> Staving Tristan McLeah: > > > >Wikipedia is kind enough to have an article on dechticaetiative > >languages, <>. By > >the looks of things, they treat indirect objects the same way as they > >treat direct objects of verbs with no indirect object. that is, (I > >think) they're the direct object/indirect object equivalent of > >subject/object ergative languages. Something like: ... > > > > I threw the baby his bottle. > > I threw his bottle. > > > >where "the baby" (IO) and "his bottle" (DO) both appear to be taking the > >same spot in the sentence, and thus both "marked" in the same way. That > >seems relatively convincing, but having skipped most of this thread I > >knew nothing about them till I started writing this message ... I would > >suppose arguments against English's dechticaetiativity (bwahaha!) would > >go something along the lines of: "his bottle" is being marked in the > >same way in both phrases, as the last non-prepositional noun phrase in > >the sentence. Paul's observation that English can also do it differently > >as "I threw the baby's bottle to him" probably means (to me and, I > >spose, him) that English isn't dechticaetiative, but rather has the > >capacity to express sentences dechticaetiatively. > You could argue, however, that "I threw the baby's bottle to him," wasn't a > ditransitive sentence, but a monotransitive sentence with an additional > prepositional argument. > > (What do you mean, "you just did"? Oh, yes I suppose so...)
I don't think counts as an argument just yet :P I thought about it when writing my original message, and I wasn't quite sure if that was legitimate, in English. As far as I can see, any verb that takes three arguments can be rephrased as one (phonetically equivalent) that takes two arguments and a prepositional phrase, while at the same time one that takes two arguments may be invalid, hence:--- 1a. I threw the baby his bottle. 1b. I threw his bottle. 1c. I threw the baby's bottle to him. Okay, no problems, but using a different verb:--- 2a. I gave the baby his bottle. 2b. * I gave his bottle. 2c. I gave the baby's bottle to him. So it seems to me while (1b) and (1c) might seem to have otherwise the same structure, (2b) and (2c) seem to be different, and so by analogy I'd say that (1b) and (1c) are different. I might've misunderstood something (or more!) in all of this, tho. -- Tristan