Bi-objective Prepositions & betweeness
|Date:||Saturday, January 3, 2004, 15:43|
Caleb Hines <cph9fa@...> wrote:
> Like a flower
> Born again
> Each morning
> Between the sky
> And the sea
> Oh my country!As I was thinking about translating that into Akathanu, I realized
something which I find to be rather odd. While most prepositions take a
single object ('to the car', 'from him', 'for you', 'of me', etc...),
'between' apparently can take _two_ objects ('between X and Y'). Of course,
it can also take one (plural) object ('between the houses'). It seems very
odd to me that this preposition can have two objects, while most only have
Akathanu (an agglutinating lang) normally treats prep. phrases as a single
word, so for example:
= 'bu'+'sahua' = above + water = Above the water.
I'm not sure how to translate "between+X+and+Y" though, because I only want
one main noun per word. For the moment, I'm using "below+X, above+Y" but
this isn't universally applicable (*"below a rock, above a hard place"?).
What I'll probably do is repeat the conjunction twice: "between+X,
Anyone have any insights on this technique, know a better way to do it, or
know of other prepositions that behave like this ('amongst' would probably
be one). Also, are there any natlangs that might have a funny way to
Talking about an "adposition" and its "object" right away is already
half-way heading to the comitative solution (that is using "and.") Why not
talk of a circumstance occuring in or throughout an interval ?
"Between" is a relation implying the delimitation of a
notional/spatial/temporal INTERVAL. Something happens or lies either on a
point of, or throughout the whole of, that interval. That's why my previous
"mechanical" analysis of "between" details the theater of the occurence as
the "WHOLE" of the interval by contrast to a "POINT" of this interval.
A relation is a behaviour relating two entities called "referees". The two
referees are usually a "reference" and a "referent". Sometimes the reference
is "everything" and is therefore omitted like for "every", "each", "no",
etc. In "some dog", "dog" is a referent and "some" a relation with the
omitted reference of "all possible" (dogs.) "X amongst Y" is a relation
making the referent X a unit part of a group of Y's (the reference) and
reads: "Entity X being one of the entities Y who potentially behave in the
"Between" is a notional reciprocal relation with both referees being each
other's reference and referent in space, time or notion. So of course,
expressing this relation with a verbal or "adpositional" technics where you
need a neat "object" of the adposition by contrast to its "subject"--that
is, part or all the predicate and arguments of the clause itself--looks
sometimes a bit tricky. The usual technics is to use a comitative (Japanese
"to", French "et", Hebrew "ve-") but repeating the same role like you say
looks fine (and is precisely already used in plenty of langs with the
comitative as well or negative comitative: Fr. "Ni lui ni aucun homme...")
For instance in Japanese you say "(doing stuff) in the interval of and-X
and-Y" = Xto Yto no aida ni."
Yesterday I read an odd article in the last issue of "La Linguistique"
written in English by a British linguist (Mr. Rastall, I think) who writes
about Martinet's theory of entity+behaviour minimal pairs as something
"revolutionary" (!!!) and explains it with examples in.... Malay :-))))
There was also an interesting article about Ingush verbal system and plenty
of examples of switching from ergative to antipassive. The Ingush word shape
and ergative system cum verbal pronominal affixes made me really think of
the Sumerian ones.