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zompist bboard • View topic - Teach-Learn Polarity [mostly on causatives]

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:51 pm 
Lebom
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I have a couple of conlangs which are zero marking for inflection, but I'm trying to make them rich in derivational affixes. I working on derivational paradigms like this from Malay-Indonesian:


ajar = teach
ajaran = teachings
belajar = to learn
mengajar = to teach
diajar = being taught (intransitive)
diajarkan = being taught (transitive)
mempelajari = to study
dipelajari = being studied
pelajar = student
pengajar = teacher
pelajaran = subject, education
pengajaran = lesson, moral of story
pembelajaran = learning
terajar = taught (accidentally)
terpelajar = well-educated, literally "been taught"
berpelajaran = is educated, literally "has education"


Only I have it in mind to make the root refer to the whole "teaching-and-learning process" and to need affixes to make it meaningful. This way I can have derivations like:

PLACE.teach-learn

Meaning "school", since both teaching and learning take place there.

Other pairable verbs include: "send-receive" and "go-come"

What do you call this polarity, please, and does my proposed approach to the root-word sound feasible? Thanks.


Last edited by Ketumak on Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:34 pm 
Sanno
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It seems (at a stretch) something like


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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:59 pm 
Lebom
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Ye-ah, that sort of thing (unless something else turns up). I note one of their examples is a Proto-Polynesian, sister to Proto-Malay, the ancestor to the language in my example. So this is promising! I shall research their terms some more.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:03 pm 
Sanno
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What kind of thing?

You've suggested three pairs, but I don't see the connexion between them - they all seem very different.

Teach vs Learn
This is just a valency issue. "Teach" is the bivalent suppletion of "learn", with the complication that the pair taken as a whole is ergative. [This can also be seen in some verbs without suppletion. "the boy learns (from a book, about figs)/the alien teaches the boy/the alien teaches the boy physics" is a parallel to "the pig feeds (from the trough, on apples)/the farmer feeds the pig/the farmer feeds the pigs strawberries".] In some dialects, there is no suppletion, and they instead say "the alien learns the boy physics".
In terms of the Indonesian example, the only difference underlyingly I think is that the word you translate 'learn' is agent-emphasising, whereas the word you translate 'teach' is patient-emphasising; that is, 'learn' is in the active and 'teach' is in the symmetrical passive. However, many analyses suggest that in many austronesian languages the active is underlyingly intransitive and more often used in intransitive situations.
I don't speak indonesian, so the connotations in practice may be more complicated. But the thing remains that this opposition is about voice and valency.

Send vs Receive
Very little connexion here. I think these are just pairs on the basis of teleology: we send in order for a thing to be received. An equivalent here would then be "write" vs "read" - I send the message, you receive the message, I write the book, you read the book. I ask, you answer, I beg, you grant. In each case the one verb is something that is performed with a clear (default, not necessarily the case in every instance of course) intention for a second thing to be done in response [unlike the first pair, where there is only one action/event]. This is more a lexical thing than a grammatical one, though - especially as in many cases it will be unclear whether a verb is being used in this sort of 'hanging', 'call-and-response' way or not. Though you could of course have paired and unpaired versions - have 'beg (and expect a response)' distinct from 'express wish for (and not expect response), and 'call (expecting answer)' from 'call (not expecting answer)'. I don't think a language where all these pairs were morphologically linked would be very realistic, but it's not impossible, I don't think.

Come vs Go
This pair is distinguished by deixis. "Come" uses proximal deixis for the end-point, whereas "go" uses proximal deixis for the start-point. Note that the previous two pairs do not have deictic implications in this way. There are many possible deictic implications you can put into verbs (eg 'he comes here from over by you' vs 'he comes here from over yonder' or 'I will go uphill' vs 'I will go downhill', etc) and you can of course use it for any motion verb. English only has come/go, arrive/depart(or leave), and enter/exit(or leave), so far as i can think right now.

There's also a fourth obvious type of pairing: where one verb negates or reverses another. so for instance "open" vs "close", "build" vs "demolish", "soil/stain" vs "clean", etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:18 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:26 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:07 pm 
Smeric
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In Polish, the equivalent of “to learn” is the reflexive form of “to teach”.

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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:34 pm 
Sanci
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I think teach–learn is a causative–anticausative pair.
teach = cause someone to learn (or alternatively, cause someone to know)

I think it's common in languages to have teach be a causative-derivation of either a verb meaning learn or one meaning know. Alternatively, teach may be the primary form and learn an anticausative-derivation from this. The reflexive in Polish mentioned above essentially works this way, I think. Swedish does the same, having lära for ‘teach’ and lära sig for ‘learn’. This is typical of European languages, where the causative tends to be the primary form and the anticausative the derived form.

Proto-Germanic seems to have had a stative *lizaną meaning ‘to know’ from which was derived an inchoative *liznaną ‘to learn (to enter into the state of knowing)’. The latter gave English learn. There was also a causative *laizijaną meaning ‘to teach (to cause someone to know)’, though this is derived from the stative *lizaną and not the inchoative *liznaną. The causative gave German lehren.

Send could be thought of as a causative form of receive, at least some uses of the verb send where there is a recipient. Send someone something = cause someone to receive something.
Come–Go is another type of verb pair, though, which has already been mentioned.

Edit:
See for example here:
http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/conference ... atives.pdf

As mentioned in the article, it is perhaps best to talk of the verb pair as plain verbs vs causal verbs. The otherwise ambiguous terms anticausative and causative can be reserved for overtly coded plain and causal.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:39 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:11 pm 
Sanci
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There are many semantic triplets where you have:
1. A stative meaning ‘to be X’ or ‘be in the state of Xing’
2. An inchoative meaning ‘to become X’ or ‘to enter into the state of Xing’
3. A causal meaning ‘to cause someone to be X’ (or alternatively ‘to cause someone to become X’)

Triplets include (English and Swedish with the same meaning):
English: know — learn — teach
Swedish: kunna — lära sig — lära
English: be high/risen — rise — raise
Swedish: vara högt — höja sig — höja
English: sit — sit down (intr.) — set/seat
Swedish: sitta — sätta sig (intr.) — sätta (tr.)
English: lie — lay down (intr.) — lay (tr.)
Swedish: ligga — lägga sig — lägga
English: be dead — die — kill
Swedish: vara död — dö — döda
English: be broken — break (intr.) — break (tr.)
Swedish: vara sönder — gå sönder — ha sönder
English: be sunk — sink (intr.) — sink (tr.)
Swedish: vara sjunken — sjunka — sänka

The forms in the triplets don't have to be etymologically related, but they often are. Any part of the triplet may be the most basic form from which one or both of the other forms are derived.

English has many ambitransitive verbs that can express both the inchoative and causal meaning. A common pattern in other European languages is to derive the inchoative from the causal with an anticausative formation, which is often some kind of reflexive (Swedish sig).

Another common pattern outside of Europe is to have the stative or the inchoative be the most basic form and have a derived causal form. English raise and set are historically causative formations, as are Swedish sänka, sätta and lägga. These go back to the common PIE pattern where *–ei is added to the o-grade of the root. In the modern languages, this pattern is of course no longer productive.

Receive–Send is not part of this kind of triplet as receive is usually already transitive. Also, receive is not itself a causal verb as the subject is not a semantic agent. But many languages can use causative formations with transitive verbs, so a language could probably derive send from receive in this way (note that this demotes the subject to indirect object while the direct object is the same).


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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:59 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:53 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:59 pm 
Lebom
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The more I read all the above the more I think there might be two things going on here: a valence thing, at the formal level and something else, perhaps at the semantic level: point of view/perspective might well capture that side of things.

I'm quite a valence adjustment fan, I put a lot into my last conlang, Õtari, so all the examples above will come in handy (whatever I do). So thank you all.


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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:42 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Teach-Learn Polarity
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 4:46 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:52 pm 
Avisaru
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Own–give are interesting in this regard to, and similar verbs of possession and possession transfer. I created a whole system around it in my conlang Imutan.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:18 pm 
Smeric
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In Malayalam, there are two words for 'to give', depending on whether the indirect object is in third person or not. (So there's one word for 'to give (to) me/you/us/y'all' and another for 'to give (to) him/her/it/them'). I don't think there's a word for 'to own' that's related to either of them.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:56 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:56 pm 
Lebom
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^ Well, I suppose that is a causative ... :)

There's an interesting and clear summary of valence changing operations in general here. NB, the site wants you to download some software first to download the pdf. I just read it online myself:

http://www.academia.edu/3015845/Valence_change


It's by Martin Haspelmath and Thomas Müller-Bardey and contains a good section on causatives.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:10 pm 
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