Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Miapimoquitch (was Re: Newbie says hi)

From:Jeff Jones <jeffsjones@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 19, 2002, 14:54
On Fri, 15 Nov 2002 12:40:53 -0700, Dirk Elzinga <Dirk_Elzinga@...>

>At 12:15 PM -0500 11/15/02, Jeff Jones wrote: >> >>On Mon, 11 Nov 2002 10:53:13 -0700, Dirk Elzinga <Dirk_Elzinga@...> >>had written:
[snipping most of the old >>>+ stuff]
>> I must have misunderstood the original post where it says "a prefix >> indicating the object". > > Eek. Did I really say that? Yep, I did (I just looked). The earlier > statement was wrong; there are in fact no object prefixes. But the > question raises another problem. The problem is that the transitive > marker _n-_ is only intended to mark a transitive predicate. So for > transitive predicates, unless the person clitic is _le=_ (2>1; i.e., > both subject and object), the object is understood to be third person. > But these are exactly the predicates which are marked with _n-_, so it > ends up looking like a third person object marker. But it's really not. > >>> There are three proclitic person markers: >>> >>> wa= '1' >>> ku= '2' >>> le= '2>1' (i.e., second person acting on first person) >>> >>> When the transitivity marker _n-_ is present, the first and second >>> person proclitics mark arguments which act upon a third person. >>> >>> wankipe a'ulese >>> wa= n- kipe a= ulese >>> 1= TR- poke DS= bear >>> 'I poked the bear.' >>> >>> lenkipe >>> le= n- kipe >>> 2>1= TR- poke >>> 'You poked me.' >> >> I see. Defining just one extra person marker (2>1), you avoid having to >> add 2 person markers (I wonder if I can steal it). I suppose you >> probably mentioned it before .... > > I don't remember if I did. The original inspiration for this was hearing > about the person hierarchy in Yuman languages, which I had understood to > be 2>1>3 (I think Algonquian languages have the same hierarchy). In the > earliest version of Miapimoquitch (then Tepa), I envisioned the argument > prefixes as "vectors" indicating a direction of activity, rather than as > portmanteaux encoding the subject and object. Transitive verbs used the > same set of prefixes as intransitive verbs. By assuming that third > persons were marked with a zero, I only needed to add _le-_ for the > transitive sentences when first and second persons interacted. > Transitivity was a lexical property of the verb.
Now I remember -- it was the original system that you posted before.
> When I started revising the grammar, I did away with the distinction > between verb and noun; however, this meant that all lexical items could > be inflected alike for tense/aspect and argument structure. If there was > still a divide between those items which were inherently transitive and > those which were inherently intransitive, then I hadn't really done away > with nouns and verbs. So the marking of transitivity became obligatory, > and the lack of such marking would indicate only that the predicate was > intransitive, not that it was a noun.
That seems to imply that you could use a word for "coyote" ("bear" would be too confusing) as the main clause head and stick a transitivity marker on it. If so, what would that mean?
> I kept the person hierarchy, but I reinterpreted it so that the external > argument (subject) must be higher than the internal argument (object) on > the hierarchy. The only holdover from the earlier "vector" system is > _le=_, the 2>1 marker, which I like too much to get rid of. Besides, as > you point out, it means that I never need two person markers for a > predicate; at most, a person marker and a transitivity prefix. > >>> There are two other prefixes which compete for the transitivity slot: >>> _l-_, which inverts the hierarchical order of the arguments, and >>> _qa"-_, which is reflexive/middle. The inverse marker forces the >>> interpretation of the person proclitics _wa=_ and _ku=_ as objects >>> with a third person subject: >>> >>> walpike a'ulese >>> wa= l- kipe a= ulese >>> 1= INV- poke DS= bear >>> 'The bear poked me.' >>> >>> For the person proclitic _le=_ the inverse marker forces a reading of >>> first person acting on second person: >> >>This too. Inversion markers are neat. I have one in my latest prospective >>language and am still exploring the possibilities. > > Inversion was also "forced" on me because of my assumptions about the > person hierarchy. If the external argument was lower on the hierarchy > than the internal argument, there needed to be a way to encode that. > After all, third persons act on first and second persons all the time. > Using the prefix _l-_ does just this job; it indicates that the person > clitic encodes the internal argument and not the external argument.
It's interesting to see how conlangs evolve, with one design decision leading to others.
>>> lelpike >>> le= l- pike >>> 2>1= INV- poke >>> 'I poked you.' >> >>Is {pike} a typo, or is there some kind of syllable reversal process also? > >It's a typo. The similarity with 'poke' was too much for me.
Too bad ;-), though I suppose Miapimoquitch already has enough goodies. Jeff
>>BTW, are you still not getting copies of your posts? > >No. But I bcc myself whenever I send to the list, so I'm okay for now. > >Dirk >-- >Dirk Elzinga > > "It is important not to let one's aesthetics interfere with the > appreciation of fact." - Stephen Anderson