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Re: Trigger languages

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 8:39
Roger Mills wrote:
> to be several papers available in pdf); I've never seen it but doubt > strongly they would have used the "trigger" term. That term seems to > have arisen relatively recently (IIRC in one of our earlier discussion > of this, someone cited a(the) first or at least early use of it), and > AFAIK hasn't been widely accepted in the field.
Thanks - it's been my impression also that the term "trigger" (in this usage) is (a) relatively recent, and (b) that it hasn't been widely accepted in the field. [snip]
> > The idea of analyzing the various Formosan and Philippine verb systems > with "passives" seems also to have fallen out of favor;
passives _and_ applicatives, I think would be needed
> most of what > I've read calls them "focus" systems-- active voice now --> agent > focus; passive now --> patient focus; dative/benefactive passive --> > dat./ben. focus; etc. etc. Also, instrumental focus and location focus-- > there may be 1 or 2 more, but that's about it.
Yep - the feature sometimes called 'trigger'*, has also been called 'subject', 'topic' or 'focus' by others. This has not helped. But your observation is interesting in that it has seemed to me that the _conlang 'trigger' system_ as given on and is, in fact, an interesting conlang slant on giving focus to a particular element in the sentence
> RB: > But at some stage, analyses using 'trigger' terminology did occur. > However, from what I have been able to gather, it would seem that not > all 'trigger' explanations were the same. My feeling is the Conlang > Trigger Languages developed from an attempt to make sense of these > explanations. > > RM: That's quite likely.
*I have certainly seen the term 'trigger' used to denote the affix attached to the verb. This to me seems quite a bizarre usage. -- Ray ================================== ================================== Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora. [William of Ockham]