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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:40 pm 
Avisaru
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Do they exist?


Here's what I mean. "Normal" participles, in every language I know of, are subject-absorbing, in that they stand in for a relative clause by replacing the subject and then taking other verbal arguments as normal.

For instance, active participles replace the subject of the relative clause and can take a direct object as an argument. (in the pseudogloss, the brackets represent the dropped/absorbed element in the relative clause)

"The man who sees me"
"The man who [he.NOM] sees me.ACC"
"The seeing me.ACC man"
(with a present active subject-absorbing participle)


Passive participles do the same, except the subject of a passive verb is the logical patient. However, the logical agent may be indicated obliquely, just as in a full relative clause.

"The man who was seen by me"
"The man who [he.NOM] was seen by me.OBL
"The seen by me.OBL man"
(with a past passive subject-absorbing participle)


Now, is it possible to have an active participle that is capable of absorbing its object, while still allowing its subject as an argument? This obviously would only apply to transitive verbs.

"The man whom I see"
"The man who I.NOM see [him.ACC]"
"The I.NOM 'seeing' man"
(with a present active object-absorbing participle)


I can't think of any reason why this couldn't exist, but I've never seen any examples of it*. Do any of you folks know anything?



* With the possible exception of dialectical Ukrainian, which I've read can form a pseudopassive by having the reflexive suffix -ся take the place of the subject rather than the object. This is similar to what I'm looking for, but not the same.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:12 pm 
Smeric
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This post is mostly over my head, but why isnt the 'whom' in the last example satisfying the criteria of what youre looking for?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:50 pm 
Avisaru
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It seems to me like if a language were to do such a thing, it would be more an effect of how they treat the valency of different verb voices and how nouns are marked (eg if they use quirky case) in actives, passives, etc, and less how they treat participles specifically. Particularly since "object-absorbing active participles" are semantically identical to "subject-absorbing passive participles". In fact, "object-absorbing active participles" sound like a trait one would almost expect to find in an über-ergative language.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:28 pm 
Sanci
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no, but I want to see one that does.

NAO.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:12 am 
Avisaru
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Well, I believe Japanese doesn't distinguish participles and relative clauses syntactically, so it could be an example of what you're thinking of. There are no relativisers, so it looks more like a participle than a relative clause:

watashi=o mita hito
1SG=ACC see-PST person

watashi=ga mita hito
1SG=NOM see-PST person

(Both of these are technically active; using the passive verb here would be unnatural.)

Some of the Peninsular conlangs have relative verbs which can stand in for various oblique arguments: zero, one, two.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:42 pm 
Avisaru
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Mecislau wrote:
Re: Object-Absorbing Participles.
Do they exist?

A better example (maybe; IMO, at least) of an agent-incorporating participle, is "demon-gnawed".
Passive participles are verbal adjectives that modify the conceptual patient of the root verb. Naturally they wouldn't incorporate their patients; they might, or might not, incorporate their agents.
Active participles are verbal adjectives that modify the conceptual agent of the root verb. Naturally they wouldn't incorporate their agents; they might, or might not, incorporate their patients.

In English, participles are marked for voice, and/or aspect, and/or tense;
an "-ed" participle might be passive, or perfective, or past, while
an "-ing" participle might be active, or imperfective, or present (or at least non-past).
And gerunds, which are verbal nouns instead of verbal adjectives, end with an "-ing" too; so it can be confusing.

But anyway;
In English, passive participles can indeed incorporate their agents, as in "doctor-recommended" or "parent-approved".
In English, active participles can indeed incorporate their patients, as in "motherfucking" or "horse-stealing" or "Obama-worshipping".

I don't know if that answers your question; is English a natlang?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:52 pm 
Sanci
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TomHChappell wrote:
I don't know if that answers your question; is English a natlang?

My new signature.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:04 pm 
Boardlord
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I'm not sure I'm following you, but perhaps Mandarin de is an example? E.g.:

ta1 xi3huan de dong1xi
he like SUB thing
things he likes

ai4 he1 jui3 de ren2
love drink wine SUB people
people who love drinking wine

The basic idea is that any sentence can be converted to a de clause— either subject or object can be relativized. (I know you asked about participles, but you can think of de clauses as participial phrases; they function as adjectives.)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:11 am 
Lebom
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TomHChappell wrote:
I don't know if that answers your question; is English a natlang?


Of course not – everyone knows it was invented by Basque monks.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:31 am 
Avisaru
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Yeah, I realize I didn't quite explain that as well as I could (and frankly I'm still not entirely sure how to best do it). I'm not looking for incorporation, but was using "absorption" (a term I actually have seen elsewhere) to refer to how a participle or another part of speech essentially subsumes within itself one of its core arguments implicitly, not explicitly as is the case with incorporation.

For instance, your standard active participles "absorb" their subject by allowing them to drop out of the relative clause the participle is replacing. The active participle then ends up directly modifying its subject in the main clause. Its object, which is not absorbed, remains in place modifying the participle.

Let's look at an example. Hopefully it'll make more sense this time.


"The man who [he] sees the dog"

Here we have a finite transitive verb in a relative clause with both subject and object. (Yes, in English the verb in the relative clause technically agrees with the relative pronoun, but bear with me)

If we convert that verb to an active participle, its subject "he", or "who" as may be the case in English, is dropped. The participle then attaches itself to the antecedent of that pronoun in the relative clause.

"The man seeing the dog".

This participle retains many of the qualities of the original finite verb, such as the free ability to either mark or not mark its direct object (the man seeing the dog, or the seeing man), although with a change in meaning.


"The man who [he] was seen (by the dog)"

Same deal, with a passive verb. The relative clause can be reworded using a passive participle; the verb's subject drops out and the verb attaches itself to its antecedent in the main clause. And just as the "by the dog" phrase is optional in the relative clause, it remains so when dealing with a passive participle.

"The man seen (by the dog)"



Now, what I'm looking for is a participle that attaches itself to its object. And, since the subject in a Nom/Acc language is mandatory, presumably the subject will be a mandatory argument for the participle as well.


"The man whom the dog saw [him]"

becomes

"The the-dog-saw man"

which would be glossed as something like

dog-NOM see-PARTICIPLE.PAST.ACTIVE.OBJECT man-NOM

Notice that the noun the participle is modifying is actually its direct object.

(I would have said "The man the dog saw", except that would be a little confusing, given how English can simply drop the "that" in relative clauses).


THC's examples aren't quite what I'm after. Show me an active participle that can incorporate its agent while modifying its patient, then I'll be impressed :P


Zompist, your first example does seem to work. You're subordinating "he likes" (an active verb and its agent) to "things" (the verb's patient). The second is more like a typical participial construction, where you're subordinating "love drinking wine" (an active verb and its patient) to "people" (the verb's agent). This certainly does seem to be an example, even though they're not true participles.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:49 am 
Avisaru
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Echobeats wrote:
TomHChappell wrote:
I don't know if that answers your question; is English a natlang?


Of course not – everyone knows it was invented by Basque monks.


*Vasco-caucasian* monks, please.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:57 am 
Avisaru
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So basically, what you want is something like a passive participle which doesn't promote its patient to subject and thus still requires a subject written in?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:54 am 
Avisaru
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Mecislau wrote:
"Normal" participles, in every language I know of, are subject-absorbing, in that they stand in for a relative clause by replacing the subject and then taking other verbal arguments as normal.
For instance, active participles replace the subject of the relative clause and can take a direct object as an argument. (in the pseudogloss, the brackets represent the dropped/absorbed element in the relative clause)

"The man who sees me"
"The man who [he.NOM] sees me.ACC"
"The seeing me.ACC man"
(with a present active subject-absorbing participle)

Passive participles do the same, except the subject of a passive verb is the logical patient. However, the logical agent may be indicated obliquely, just as in a full relative clause.

"The man who was seen by me"
"The man who [he.NOM] was seen by me.OBL
"The seen by me.OBL man"
(with a past passive subject-absorbing participle)

Now, is it possible to have an active participle that is capable of absorbing its object, while still allowing its subject as an argument? This obviously would only apply to transitive verbs.

"The man whom I see"
"The man who I.NOM see [him.ACC]"
"The I.NOM 'seeing' man"
(with a present active object-absorbing participle)

I can't think of any reason why this couldn't exist, but I've never seen any examples of it*. Do any of you folks know anything?


I think I misinterpreted your term "absorbing" to mean "incorporating", so I didn't show you what you wanted.

What do you mean by "absorbing"? Do you mean the noun the participle modifies is "absorbed" by it? That the head-noun of the relative clause equivalent to the participle, which would be a shared participant between the RC and its matrix clause, and which the RC would modify, is "absorbed" by the participle?

Your examples start with relative clauses; and the participant you say is "absorbed" is the shared participant between the RC and the main clause. In topic-prominent languages the shared participant is usually (maybe always) the topic of the RC; in subject-prominent languages it is usually the subject of the RC.

Then when you re-word it to use a participle instead of a RC, the participle modifies the same noun/nominal that the RC modified.

I would have said the active participle "me-seeing" in "the me-seeing man" incorporates the patient (and object) of the original RC "(the man) sees me". It modifies the subject (and agent) of "see", namely "the man", which is also a participant of the main clause of which "the man who sees me" is part. That's the head-noun of that RC; and also the head of the noun-phrase "the me-seeing man", which is a participant of your unshown main clause.

It seems to me that by "subject-absorbing participle" you mean that the noun the participle modifies -- the head-noun of the RC to which it could be re-worded -- would be the subject of that RC. In other words, that RC has been relativized on its subject; or, its subject has been relativized.

There are many languages in which participants of a relative clause other than its subject can be relativized. Keenan's and Comrie's "Noun-Phrase Accessibility Hierarchy",
Subject > Direct Object > Indirect Object > Oblique Argument > Genitive (e.g. possessor of subject or object or IO) > Object of Comparison,
shows that there can be relativizaton on other participants.

But I'm not sure whether or not those can be re-worded into a participle.

However, I expect they can (in some languages, if not English). Because:

-------------------------------------------

In English there are several passive participles that modify the possessor of the patient, or modify the whole of which the possessor was a part, rather than modifying the patient itself.

Example:

"The man's gob was smacked" (a passive independent clause; the patient and subject is "gob".)
"... the man whose gob was smacked" (a noun-phrase in which the passive RC "whose gob was smacked" modifies "the man", the possessor of the patient and the possessor of the subject, "gob". The RC has been relativized on the possessor of its subject-and-patient "gob", rather than on its subject-patient proper. That means that in English everything higher in the hierarchy can also be relativized on; oblique arguments, indirect objects, and direct objects, as well as subjects.)
"... the gobsmacked man" (a noun-phrase in which the passive participle "gobsmacked" modifies "the man", the possessor of the subject-and-patient of the passive participle.) (I admit I thought of "assfucked" before I thought of "gobsmacked".)

So there's an example of a patient-incorporating passive participle that modifies the whole of which/whom the patient was part, or the possessor of the patient.

---------------------------------------

For active participles, the relative clauses to which they could be re-worded, are in the active voice, and have their agents as their subjects. As a general rule, it's harder to relativize on a direct object, (which in the active voice would be a patient), than to relativize on the subject. If you relativize on the DO, that means the RC shares that participant with its main or matrix clause, and "acts as an adjective" modifying the noun in the matrix clause that would be the DO of the RC.

In English it's easy to do this with active RCs; but TTBOMK it's quite awkward, if possible at all, to turn such RCs into participles, without using such suppletive processes as turning "the man whom I see" into "the visible man", if that's not just cheating.

But I think it likely it can be done, in some languages, even though English doesn't seem to be one of them.
English can relativize passive RCs on the genitive modifying the subject, on oblique arguments, on the indirect object, or on the direct object, as well as on the subject.
Presumably, English also can relativize active RCs on those things.
English can make a passive participle modify ("absorb"?) the possessor of its subject/patient; one would expect, therefore, that it could make a passive participle modify an oblique argument or an indirect object, too. (And maybe direct objects. Before anyone objects that English passive clauses don't have direct objects (since the agent is demoted to oblique argument), let me point out that passivized ditransitive verbs might have them, if it's the IO rather than the DO that gets promoted to subject.)
And one would expect that English could make active participles modify ("absorb") all those things too; i.e. oblique arguments, indirect objects, and direct objects.

But I don't know how to do it in English, and I don't even know that it can be done in English.
If it can be, Keenan and Comrie say it should be expected that it's more awkward to do that with an object than with a subject.
However it should also be expected to be more awkward to do it with the possessor of the subject than with the direct object.

--------------------------------------------

Nevertheless, I would bet that there is some language in which it can be done.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:45 am 
Lebom
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I think the answer to your question is dependent on how you define participle. A few Bantu languages (including Zulu and Swahili) have relative verb constructions where there is no relative pronoun but the verb is marked morphologically to be the verb of a relative clause. Both in Swahili as in Zulu this construction may be used for relativizing the object, but I wouldn't call these verb forms pariciples because they are not non-finite.* I believe that in many Altaic** languages such as Turkic and Mongolian there are constuctions in which a non-finite form can be used for object relative clauses where the subject is in the genitive, but I don't know enough about these languages to argue whether these verb forms are participles or something else.
A problem with your idea is that participles are adjectives, or at least adjective-like, and adjectives always modify what would be their subject in a copulative sentences. If we take the sentences "That house is worth a million dollars"***, or "that woman is greedy for money", if you want to use the adjectives in these sentences as modifiers they can only modify the subject. You say "that house, worth a million dollars" not "a million dollars worth that house", and you say "that woman, greedy for money" not "money, greedy that woman"

*I would say that typical of non-finite verb forms is that they (I'l try to be as theory neutral as possible) 1) tend to express less tenses than finite verb forms 2) tend to be not the head of a main clause, 3) tend to have no cannonical agreement with its subject, escpecially not 1st and 2nd person 4) usually does not license nominative subjects in nominative-accusative languages.

** I use Altaic as a shorthand for Turkic, Mongolic and Tungisic languages. I do not claim anything about the correctness of the Altaic family. It just costs less time typing "Altaic" instead of "Turkic, Mongolic and Tungisic", though to be honest typing this footnote has cost me more time than just typing "Turkic, Mongolic and Tungisic"

*** I am aware that not everybody agrees that "worth"is an adjective, but I think it is, and if it is it is the only adjective that arguably has a direct object I can think of.


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