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zompist bboard • View topic - Object-Absorbing Participles

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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 
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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 
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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: , , .

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:42 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:52 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:04 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:11 am 
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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 
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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 
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:45 am 
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