Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Voice alterations + Alas, System Restore !

From:Muke Tever <hotblack@...>
Date:Sunday, February 8, 2004, 9:12
On Sat, 7 Feb 2004 12:19:17 -0800, Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>
> Philippe antwortet: > > I analyse “A book belongs to me” as “A book is owned > by me”, meaning that conceptually it is the passive of > “I own a book”.
*Conceptually* I don't think it's meaningful to say that "passive" or "active" mean anything at all here. Neither you nor your book actually _do_ anything in this relationship; unlike, say, "hit," which clearly has a semantic agent (the hitter) and patient (teh hit) as well as a syntactic one, "own" doesnt seem to have a prototypical agent at all. [what is the semantic role of the subject of "own"? Is it experiencer? The subject 'owns' without volition, physical effect, or being affected by 'owning'... Trebor, maybe your conlang can treat this verb and others similar to it differently from other verbs.]
> - I own a book = locutor owns book (standard > expression; locutor is implicitely focused, thus: > locutor[+focused] owns book) > - A book belongs to me = locutor owns book+focused > (non standard, to be marked) > I wouldn’t use the term “emphasize” in this case, > because it looks like a different concept: > - I own a book (active form, not emphasized) # I > (myself) am the owner of a book, It is me who own a > book (“I” emphasized) > - A book belongs to me (passive form, not emphasized) > # It is a book that belongs to me (“book” emphasized); > also “It is this book that belongs to me”, “This very > book belongs to me” (emphasized on “this”) > > “To own” and “to belong to” are converse verbs, but it > looks like the “A-owns-B” form is the privileged one, > compared to “B-belongs to-A”.
I think this is language-dependent. Atlantic does not use verbs like "own" or "belong to" in this construction: Est mâs bâblé. is my book "I have a book." Est bâblé mâs. is book my "The book is mine." (NB "est bâblé mâs" is actually the unmarked order, i.e., the adjective follows its head. I might say that "B belongs to A" is the "privileged" form in Atlantic.) I understand there are natlangs that do similarly. *Muke! -- E jer savne zarjé mas ne Se imné koone'f metha Brissve mé kolé adâ.