Re: THEORY: Expressing the outcome of "productive" actions
|Date:||Thursday, November 3, 2005, 20:50|
--- In email@example.com, JR <fuscian@O...> wrote:
> I was not aware of the term factitive, and after googling it I'm
> still not entirely sure what it means. It seems to be primarily
> used to describe verbs, not nouns, that cause something to be
See, among other references,
which says, in part,
"Factitive is the semantic role of an referent that results from the
action or state identified by a verb."
In other words, if the "patient" actually _comes into existence_
because the agent "does" the verb, it is a "factitive patient", as
opposed to some other kind of "patient".
The usual way of saying this is, it is an "effected patient", not
merely an "affected patient".
According to Blake's "Case", many theorists distinguish "factitives"
from other patients; and many don't. Just as, many theorists
distinguish "themes" (objects located or moved) from other patients;
and many don't.
> In Kar Marinam I use the Translative case to mark any object that
> was "created" or changed significantly. I put quotes
> around "created" because most of the time when we talk about
> creation what's really happening is that one thing is changing into
> another, even if we don't think of it that way, and this is why I
> use the same case for both.
The "changed significantly" part, and the "one thing changing into
another" part, are what I meant by "translative case".
> So in Kar Marinam, a quote itself is left unmarked, but if a
> regular noun is used, such as "words," it will be in the
> translative case, because words do not hover around waiting to be
> acted upon, but are brought about through the act of speaking.
It sounds like Kar Marinam uses one and the same case both for
translative and for effected patients (factitives). It is common for
natural languages to combine into one morphological role in their
morphology two or more semantic roles that linguists have been able
to distinguish in some other language or languages. Not that I'd be
any kind of expert, but putting these two together seems natural to
> The thing that is converted into speech is, I suppose, under
> ordinary circumstances, primarily the air, as its molecules bounce
> around, and perhaps the tiny vibrating bones and fluid in the
> listener's ear, and really also all the brain cells that interpret
> those vibrations, and the muscles in the mouth and throat of the
> speaker, and the mental states of both the speaker and listener.
> They all combine to produce what we call words. These *could* be
> marked as the Patient in KM, though I don't think anyone would feel
> the need to mention them at all, just as they don't in English.
> Perhaps in poetry.
The above paragraph seems like more work than necessary.
Kind of pretty, though.
> I'm not sure how one would convert thunder into speech. I'd think
> thundering air is vibrating too much already to be overwhelmed by
> anyone's mouth. It would be quite a feat!
Right. First, impress people by making thunder come out of your mouth
-- then, impress them even more by making that thunder comprehensible!
> I KM were more flexible perhaps you could say:
> mshÿhbò lúnty gèremlëmpì
> Trans-thunder words(-Pat) spoke (I-Ag)
> 'I thundered some words.'
> But you can't, since "words" still can't be used as a Patient,
> since they don't exist as such prior to the action.
Semantically the words are the effected patient.
> In fact, "words" and "thunder" are created simultaneously and refer
> to the same thing.
Yes, that's right. Semantically they refer to the same thing and are
created at the same time by the same act.
But, if they are both nouns, you might use one as a noun to describe
It would be natural to have one of them in whatever case effected
patients get put in -- Accusative or Factitive or Objective or
Absolutive or whatever.
Say, for instance,
"(thunder reference omitted for the moment)
(creating-type verb yet to be chosen)
Now, suppose K.M. had an Essive case. The difference between Essive
and Translative is the difference between Being and Becoming. If
K.M. had both cases, we could talk about these words Being Thunder,
or Becoming Thunder, by choosing the case of Thunder.
Usually, "thunder(-Ess)" will be glossed "as thunder".
So, you could get
"thunder(-Ess) words(-Pat) spoke I-(Ag)".
> For this reason, you couldn't even put both in the Translative case
> and conjoin them, since then it would sound like they were two
> separate creations.
> So I would attach to "words" what I call an appositive relational,
> for lack of a better term, which indicates it and the following
> word are the same thing.
This sounds a lot like the "Essive Case".
> (I don't like to use the term case here because, unlike most other
> cases other that genitive, it marks the relationship between two
> nouns, rather than a noun and a verb.)
According to Blake, cases are either adnominal or adverbal.
An adnominal case marks the relationship its noun has to another noun;
an adverbal case marks the relationship its noun has to a verb.
There are other oppositions, too.
Grammatical, or syntactic, cases, are about grammatical relations;
semantic, or concrete, cases, are about roles.
> mshÿlúnto hbò gèremlëmp
> Trans-words-App thunder spoke (I-Ag)
> 'I thundered some words.'
> Same problem and solution for turning words into a shout. Text to
> speech though, would work as a patient/translative sentence.
> For your other example about painting, KM would have the object to
> which paint is applied marked as the Locative, the image created as
> Translative, the paint itself as the Patient, the painter as Agent,
> and the brush as Instrumental. This is quite different than in
> English, where either of the first two can be the direct object,
> and seem to be the patient. I classify the paint as the Patient
> here because it is affected most of all - it is actually moved
> around and blurred with other colors. The object painted upon is
> not itself changed (aside from some possible seepage into it,
> depending on material), merely coated. And the image itself, of
> course, only exists as a result of the action, so it must be
This example shows all three kinds of Patient that Blake's "Case"
says some linguists would like to separate.
The paint is "theme" -- it gets moved around.
The image is "effected patient" or "factitive" -- it is actually
created by the action.
The board or canvas is "affected patient" -- it does not get located
nor moved, nor created, but it does get affected otherwise.
Tom H.C. in MI