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Re: Telek Nouns

From:Jim Grossmann <steven@...>
Date:Sunday, April 30, 2000, 22:53
1.    Animacy/Inanimacy distinction seems well thought-out.

2.    Why do only animate nouns take diminutive/augmentative suffixes?

3.    Why are these lexicalized agentives ungrammatical?   Why would
"whisperer" be inanimate?

> *hosynoni "whisperer" > *hosyngoo "whisperer" (maybe used of a gossip??)
4a. Possessive prefixes: Suppose a speaker is talking to a sibling about another one of his/her siblings. Suppose the speaker's mother came up in the conversation. Could the noun referring to this person's mother have to have possessive prefixes in all three persons? Or, could the speaker in question choose from one or more of the prefixes (1, 2, 3, 1&2, 2&3, 1&3 or 1,2&3)? Yes, the speaker in question could use "our mother," but since you didn't mention inclusive vs. exclusive 1st person, would your grammar necessarily exclude the ambiguity- reducing combinations of 1&2, 1&3, etc.? 4b. I think your obligatory possession markers for inalienably possessed things are very clever. After all, a shape is always something's shape. If you'll forgive a suggestion: you could drop the inalienable possession marker to create certain abstract nouns. e.g. (something's shape) minus (inalien. poss. marker) = form, geometry (something's color) minus (inalien. poss. marker) = color in general (someone's mother) minus (inalien. poss. marker) = motherhood 5. Possession: I'm not sure that the wording of your definition of alienable vs. inalienable possession is exact enough for your grammar. A mother must "exist in a relationship with some other entity" (her offspring). However, a mother can also exist on her own to the same extent that any other organism can. Shall we say that alienably possessed items can cease to have the relationship with X signified by the possessive marker (e.g. ownership, detachability, citizenship, etc.)? Contrast this with inalienably possessed itmes, which cannot cease to have the relationship with X signified by the possessive marker (e.g. essential attribute, family relationship). Actually, family relationship may be a problematic case. Consider the fact that mothers can disown their children, gain custody of children, and lose custody of children. Socially, the relationship of mother to child is alienable; biologically, it is inalienable; but "mother" can be a social or biological term. HOWEVER, this is not necessarily a problem for your grammar: alternative use of alienable vs. inalienable possession markers for "mother" could actually clarify whether you are using the term in the social or biological sense.
>The classification of alienable vs. inalienable is rather intuitive.
> that must exist in a relationship to some other entity are inalienablly > possessed, while things that can exist on their own are alienablly
possessed. 6. Your locational noun scheme looks great; some details are unclear to me. a) "soanoom sogil" Here, you've put "so" on both nouns. Is this right? b) Could you tell us more about the postpositional clitics? c) The bottom of the blanket doesn't mean the same thing as under the blanket. You may want to have two classes of locational nouns: one that stands for locations that are parts of objects, another that stands for locations very near their associated objects. e.g. n1a = the bottom of X; n1b = the place under X; n2a = the innards/inner portion of X n2b = the hollow or interior space within X Jim
> Nouns can be divided into classes on the basis of gender and > alienable/inalienable possession.
> Gender:
> There are two genders: animate and inanimate. In most cases, the gender > can be > correctly guessed.
> Animate: bilty "type of fish", wanada "deer", lupim "my father", lummim > "mother" > Inanimate: pogwe' "hill", sante "house", xamid "sand (a single grain or
> mass)"
> Some things are culturally dependant: plants that are eaten are considered > animate, but the rest are inanimate. (Don't ask for details on
> dependant" -- I'm still working on that, but not too much.)
> Animate: la'ni "apple", kasansa "strawberry" > Inanimate: haliito "oak", dolgaatym "dandelion" > > Anything abstract is inanimate, as are most nominalized verbs (of verb > phrases): only lexicalized agentives can be animate. > > Animate: telen "speaker" (teren "stutterer"), wifaanan "runner" > Inanimate: hosyn "whisperer", lajhosa "life"
> Natural phenomena, such as weather, determine their gender based on
> they seem to be "self-motivated" or not. By "self-motivated" I mean that
> have no apparent cause, analogous the movement of an animal compared to
> movement of a rock.
> Animate: getel "wind" (geter "storm winds"), byrandak "volcanic eruption" > Inanimate: usol "rain" (usor "downpour"), ihaaw "snow" > > Body parts are always considered animate, but parts of plants are
> Some words can change gender depending on context; for example, bisko
> is animate when flowing (river, waterfall, etc), but inanimate otherwise > (lake, > in a jar, etc). > > Gender distinction is relevant for two things. First, agreement on the > verb is > sensitive to the distinction. Second, only animate verbs may take the > diminutive and augmentive suffixes. > > diminutive = -oni > augmentive = -goo > > la'nioni "(little/cute) apple tree)" > la'nigoo "(huge/old) apple tree" > *dolgaatymoni "(cute/little) dandelion" > *haliitogoo "(great) oak" > > telenoni "speaker" (used of light-hearted poets and story-tellers) > telengoo "speaker" (used of great orators) > *hosynoni "whisperer" > *hosyngoo "whisperer" (maybe used of a gossip??) > > Possession: > > The classification of alienable vs. inalienable is rather intuitive.
> that must exist in a relationship to some other entity are inalienablly > possessed, while things that can exist on their own are alienablly
> All terms dealing with body parts and relationships are inalienable: it is > impossible to be a "mother" without being somebody's mother. Likewise
> friends. These nouns must always appear with a possessive prefix attached
> them.
> Possessive Prefixes: (identical to Class-O verb agreement, except for the > indefinite) > 1 singular: lu- > 1 plural: et- > 2 singular: lo- > 2 plural: min- > 3 animate singular: so- > 3 animate plural: as- > 3 inaminate: gu- (for both singular and plural) > indefinite: i-
> The indefinite is used whenever the actual possessor of these knowns is > unknown > or unimportant. > > Examples: > > lunees "my arm", ednees "our arms", lonees "your arm", minnees "your
> etc. > luanoom "my head", atanoom "our heads", soanoom "his/her head", asanoom
> heads" > > Kinship terms of immediate family members (mother, father, siblings) are > lexicalized so that it is difficult to separate the prefix and the stem. > > lummim "my mother", edmim "our mother", mimmim "your (pl) mother", sommim > "his/her mother" > > Alienable nouns comprise the majority of words (though not necessarily the > most > frequent). These words only have the possessive prefixes when they are > actually possessed. In addition, the suffix -(y)m is added. > > kalim "shirt", lukalimym "my shirt", minkalimym "your (pl) shirts" > sanax "garden", lusanaxym "my garden, sosanaxym "their garden" > hajdo "blanket", luhajdom "my blanket", ettaydom "our blankets" > > Alienable nouns cannot be used with the indefinite possessor. In these
> of situations, they are simply left unpossessed. > > Locational Nouns: > > Telek has no locational adpositions, they are all expressed with
> or locational nouns. For example, the concept of "on" is expressed with a > noun > meaning gil "top", and "under" is expressed by soto "bottom". The
> noun is inalienablly possessed, and the possessive marker agrees with its > "object". If the "object" is already known and would be specified with a > pronoun (e.g., "on it", "under them"), there is only agreement: the > "object" is > dropped.
> hajdo gusoto "under the blanket" BLANKET BOTTOM OF (3rd animate) > gusoto "under it" BOTTOM OF (3rd animate)
> soanoom sogil "on his/her head" > sogil "on him/her"
> These phrases may also serve as noun phrases: they can be subjects or
> of the sentence.
> Hajdo gusotoof gungohidy "It is under the blanket" (-of is a case > postpositional clitic) > Hajdo gusotool guikeri "The bottom of the blanket is torn" (-ol is a case > postpositional clitic) > Hajdo gusotood menajlid "You cooked the bottom of the blanket" (whatever > that's > supposed to mean; -od too is a case postpositional clitic)
> What do you guys think?
> Marcus