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zompist bboard • View topic - And folks... time for Proto-Deithas

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:02 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:19 am 
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Valency and Voice Marking

As we've already seen Proto-Deithas inflectional forms and have an understanding of how verbs are formed, we can procede forward on a new distinction, that of valency. Proto-Deithas has a morphosyntactic alignment of Nominative-Accusative. This means that the nominative case expresses the core arguments of intransitive verb and the agent of a transitive verb, with the object as the oblique case distinct. Though inanimate nouns only appear in the nominative case, the position of the argument has a morphosyntactic factor.

In terms of Proto-Deithas, intransitive verbs are monovalent and transitive verbs are at least divalent. Verbs are capable, however, of decreasing or increasing the valency of a verb through a morphological process which, for convenience, is called voice. There are a total of 8 voices: Active, Avalent, Benefactive, Causative, Detransitive, Malefactive, Middle, and Reflexive, though some analysts consider the specialized functions of certain voices independent, therefore increasing the number.

It should be noted that these voices can be layered. Where a voice will increase the valency, a voice can be applied to the verb to decrease it at the same time. They are therefore not true voices, but are called so as they affect the overall valency of the given verb.

Active voice

We've already discussed the formation and existence of the active voice. It is the standard voice of intransitive and transitive verbs.

Detransitive

The detransitive voice is the second most common voice, where the verb loses its object argument, whether it is unimportant to express or omitted--that is, there is no implicit object to be expected. This voice therefore reduces the total number of arguments of a polyvalent verb down by one: Transitive becomes intransitive.

The detransitive uses a separate form of agreement than the active voice; rather than prefixing the subject, it has that suffix embedded in the aspect-mood marker. This marker receives the stress:
*ḫa-gwím-tey dwe maḫ manwṛˊh, he marries my sister > *gwim-ṭéyz dwe, he marries, he gets married.

Detransitizing may cause a lexical shift:
*me-xíw-tey ehm yáht, I hear you > *xiw-héy ehm, I listening, I am listening.

The detransitive has one function abscribed to it that is beyond the typical scope of such a voice: The passive voice. In the passive voice, the subject is dropped, and the object is raised to the subject. The passive is sometimes considered a separate voice, as demonstrated by its formation. The 3rd person forms of the detransitive are used as the primary marker for the passive, and do not change to agree with the subject. Instead, the personal prefixes are used to agree with the subject. The stress of the passive verb rests on the second-to-last syllable:
*ḫa-gwím-tey dwe maḫ manwṛˊh, he marries my sister > *ḫa-gwim-ṭéyz maḫ manwṛˊh, she is married.
*me-xíw-tey ehm yáht, I hear you > *me-xíw-ṭeyz yat, you are heard.

Benefactive and Malefactive

The benefactive and malefactive are two polyvalent voices: That is, unlike the detransitive, can be applied on any verb with any number of inherent valencies, to increase the valency of the verb. The two voices increase the valency by one, adding someone who in some respect benefits or is hindered by the action.

The benefactive creates an oblique argument that is benefited from the action. It is formed with the root suffix, -e-, placed before the aspect-mood marker, and generally receives the accent. The additional argument is placed after the object, the word order being Verb Subject Object Beneficiary.
*me-bséŋk-tey ehm ntyágṭ yáht, I give the food to you > *me-bseŋk-é-tey ehm ntyágṭ yáht renwṛˊh, I give you food for (your) son.

The malefactive, however, creatse the opposite effect: The argument is someone who negatively benefits from the action. It implies harm or depletion, that something is being done to hinder the argument. It is formed with the suffix -ane-:, with the stress on the final syllable:
*me-sdétir-tey ehm ntyágṭ, I cook the food > *me-sdetir-ane-téy ehm ntyágṭ yáht, I cook food *from you, or, I cook food in spite of your presence (i.e., there may not be enough for you--tough!).

The malefactive, plus the hortative, creates a prohibative. The verb is negated, and the beneficiary argument becomes the agent of prohibition:
*ḫa-gwím-tey dwe maḫ manwṛˊh, he marries my sister > *ḫa-gwim-ane-téy dwe maḫ manwṛˊh ehmé I forbid him from marrying my sister!

The detransitive voice may be layered onto these two voices. By doing so, one removes the object argument, not the beneficiary object.
*me-bséŋk-tey ehm ntyágṭ yáht, I give the food to you > *bseŋk-e-héy ehm yáht, I give for you.
*me-sdétir-tey ehm ntyágṭ, I cook the food > *sdetir-ane-héy ehm yáht, I cook in spite of you.

In some instances of the the detransitive voice, the beneficiary argument is lost. In the malefactive, this creates a negative meaning within the verb, where the subject is inherently hindered by the action, and alters the lexical meaning of the verb in question. This is known as the negative detransitive.
*nyag-ane-héy ehm, I cannot eat, I starve.

This meaning exists, through analogy, on intransitive verbs:
*me-yéŋ-tey ehm, I breath > *yeŋ-ane-héy ehm lénał, I drown (I cannot breath because water prohibits me from breathing).

The reflexive cannot be used along with the benefactive; the middle voice is used instead.

Causative

The causative voice is a polyvalent voice, like the benefactive or malefactive. Unlike the benefactive or malefactive, this can convert an intransitive verb into a transitive one. In intransitive verbs, the subject of is raised to the agent, and an object is created. The general meaning is, "to cause to x". This is formed with the the root suffix, -ja-, which receives the stress.
*kréṛd-tey pré, someone is dead > *ḫa-kreṛd-já-tey dwe préṭ, he kills someone (causes to die).

The causative in transitive verbs works a little different. The subject is promoted to an agent of causation, while the initial object is promoted to the agent of the action, and a new object is created as the object of the verb. This creates a trivalent verb.
*ḫa-gwím-tey sam dwé, he marries her > *me-gwim-já-tey ehm smˊ dú, I cause him to marry her, I arrange him to marry her.

As can be seen, the causative voice often causes a lexical shift: Die > to cause to die, kill; marry > to arrange someone to marry someone; to drink > to serve a drink; to see > to cause to see, to make someone understand, teach.

The detransitive is also used with this voice. When used on a bivalent causative, there is no change syntactically, but there is a change in meaning:
*ḫa-kreṛd-já-tey dwe préṭ, he kills someone > *kreṛd-já-ṭeyz dwe préṭ he has someone killed.

In ditransitive verbs, the agent of causation and the object of the verb remain, but the agent of action is lost.
*me-len-mí-tey ehm méłłen I drink beer > *me-len-mi-já-tey ehm dwé méłłen, I serve him beer > *len-mi-já-hey ehm méłłen, I serve beer.

The newly created object cannot be dropped; instead, it can be replaced with pré, someone, something.

The reflexive can easily be applied to the causative, either direct or indirect:
*ḫa-kreṛd-já-tey dwe préṭ, he kills someone > *ḫa-kreṛd-já-tey-si dwe, he kills himself, he commits suicide.
OR > *kreṛd-já-ṭeyz-si dwe, he has himself killed, he sacrifices himself.

The middle can also be applied to causatives. In this instance, the middle root suffix -e- follows the causative root suffix, and desyllabifies into -h-.

Reflexive and middle

The reflexive and middle do not alter valency as greatly as the other voices. In the reflexive, the subject becomes the object as well; in intransitive verbs, this results in the subject being the same as the indirect object (if applicable--not all verbs can become reflexive), and in transitive verbs, this can retain or lose the object, depending on the meaning. The reflexive is formed with the suffix -si. The stress does not move in the verb.
*ḫa-káḫy-tey dwe préṭ, he blesses someone > *ḫa-káḫy-tey-si dwe, he blesses himself.
*ḫa-gráf-tey dwe préṭ, she nurtures someone > *ḫa-gráf-tey-si dwe, she nurtures herself, she rests.
*me-bseŋk-tey ehm seṛkág dú, someone gives me the chicken > *me-bséŋk-tey-si ehm seṛkág, I give myself the chicken, I take the chicken.

The middle is a bit more difficult of a voice to pin down. The middle is formed with the root suffix -e-, similar to the benefactive, but retains the final suffix -s.

The middle voice has three primary functions: Egoist, reciprocal, and autocausative.

Egoist middle is similar to the benefactive, however is reflexive in this function; the subject directly benefits from the action being performed. This meaning is much more difficult to translate into English.
*me-bseŋk-é-tey-s ehm seṛkág yáht, I give the chicken to you (I benefit from giving this to you).

The reciprocal middle is used to express that the action is performed against the subject, which is generally plural. Unlike the reflexive, this implies that the action is formed against each of the subject by each of the subjects.
cf. *ḫi-kreṛd-já-h-tey-s dwey, they kill each other, versus *ḫi-kreṛd-já-tey-si dwey, they kill themselves.

The middle, with the detransitive, forms an autocausative meaning. That is, the action becomes the experiencer--this only applies to verbs where an experiencer may be valid.
*krek-é-ṭeyz ħwáŋkey, the window breaks.

The two avalent voices: Avalent and locative

The avalent and locative are two voicse that lack any valency; that is, this form of reduction reduces the valency to zero; there is no object, and there is no subject. Indirect objects, etc., may still apply.

The avalent is a statement of general fact, that the action is being performed without regard to any argument. This is formed with the root suffix -ḫiṣ-, from the verb of the same name (which is also used to form the perfective and retrospective), and utilize the third person indefinite detransitive endings, instead of the typical endings found in verbs. This is generally used in weather verbs, but also in certain periphrastic constructions.
*len-ḫíṣ-eyz, it is raining.
*ħent-ḫíṣ-eyz, it is harvesting, there is harvesting.

The hortative is used as a general cohortative.
*len-mi-ḫíṣ-iz, Let's drink!

The locative, however, is used to verbalize locations: This is where X occurs, where "this" or "here", like any form of deixis, is relative to topicality. It is formed with the root suffix -yi-, which receives the stress. This suffix, however, causes a shift in in the endings, that are easily determined with sandhi: -eyz becomes -hiz, -ayz becomes -ḫiz. There is no locative hortative.
*ħent-yí-hiz, here is harvesting.

Both the avalent and locative are useful in compounding and in forming adverbs of manner from verbs. The locative is typically used as an adverb in verbs of motion.
ḫa-tzéw-tey kreṛd-ja-ḫíṣ-ey dwe smˊ, he catches him with murderous intent.
ḫa-hemmáḫ-tey len-yí-hiz dwe, he walks while it is raining.

As shown by the examples, the avelent and locative can be used in conjunction with the causative voice; no other voice is compatible with these voices.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:16 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:18 am 
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Seriously, ZBB? No comments? Quality 'lang here!

Also, the Lexicon is now available, .

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:42 am 
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That there sure is one quality Lexicon you got there, Neek.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:49 am 
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Cool voice stuff. Kinda makes me re-evaluate Voice in Kuma-Koban, where I've assumed that Causatives are derivational, but I now realize they could very well be inflectional.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:20 am 
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Some remarks on the first post:

- I'm curious about the near-total regularity of POAs being spoiled in the unvoiced stops and fricatives. Have the additional POAs been gained, or have the other series merged them? Or is it the result of cluster-simplification (ie anything voiced is from a cluster itself, and there were only two elements per cluster, so that things could be voiced or at the new POA but not both - but then, what clusters would produce those POAs?)

- Why is the case marked by moving the accent? The obvious answer would be that the oblique marker was an affix that has been lost, but that was there long enough to move the accent from the antepenult. However, why then does the accent not move when adding a numeric suffix?

- Why do disyllabics stress the first syllable and not the last?

- When exactly are the numeric suffixes used - you seem to suggest it's not just about definiteness. Also: isn't that the wrong way round? When things are indefinite, it's more likely that you don't know the number, and thus couldn't specify it, whereas for a definite, you always know the number.

- What are these 'reduced forms' of the possessives - when are they used?

- 'hn' is clearly a suffix to make things anaphoric - so what are those root words? And why is it used to make words like 'any' and 'every' and so on, which aren't anaphoric?

- What does 'other' mean? Is it 'THE other' or 'AN other', as they're totally different meanings? Similarly: 'a sole' or 'the sole'?

- Given that there's no clear distinction between adjectives and nouns, why is there both nominal 'what' and adjectival 'which'? Couldn't they just use 'what' in an adjectival way? I'm assuming that 'which' is the interrogative adjective - or is it the descriptive relative pronoun? It would be helpful if you could give the meanings more fully than just an English word, which often have many different uses.

- What are your 'correlatives' correlating with? Correlatives are pairs of words. Are yours meant to be deictic adverbs? Or can they perhaps function as adjectives/nouns as well? If they're adverbs, do queries regarding them take a different interrogative method? [Eg, in English, spatial deictic adverbs answer 'where', 'whither' and 'whence' questions, but temporal deictic adverbs answer 'when' questions, and most other adverbs answer 'how' questions.]

- Why is 'now' grouped with the spatial deictics? Where are there not ablative and allative forms of it? You don't have to have them, obviously - English doesn't, for a start - but it's worth considering.

- Can any of these 'correlatives' introduce dependent clauses? If not, do they have any equivalents that can? Do these trigger different behaviours in the main clause? For instance, "now" can introduce clauses: "Now I am earning money, we can buy a house"; but "then", as you translate your obviate equivalent to your 'now', cannot - it must be replaced by 'when', and triggers the main verb to be subjunctive and perfect (if the meaning is not habitual): "When I was earning money, we could have bought a house". "Here" and "there", on the other hand, both need to be replaced by "where", but they can be used for clauses that are being contrasted: "here I'm a valued employee; there I'm surplus to requirements". How does all this work in Proto-Deithas?

- More generally, how does the Proto-Deithas deictic framework operate in these cases? What's the difference between proximate and obviate, and how does it interact with the positions through time of the speaker, listener, the protagonist of the story and any of the arguments of the verb, and are there ways to alter this? How far away is obviative, and where is it measured from?

- I'm unclear about your particles. They modify verbs, so they're adverbial, fine, just like in English... except, where does their object come from? Alongside WHAT, from WHERE, using WHAT? Are you trying to say that these are applicative particles that change the role of the object (like prepositional compounding in English)? Or are they valency-altering particles that introduce another object? Or are they deictic/anaphoric particles that define the relation of the verb to an unstated additional item, as they often are in English? If so, are they deictic, anaphoric or both, and how is their referant defined? Can they ever be used in non-referential ways to create phrasal verbs, as their English equivalents often can? ["I walked along", for example]

- Your possessive particle: you say it can be understood as either a prefix or a suffix: how? Which is it really? You write it as though it were neither. When you have nominal phrases, how does it cope with those - does it modify the phrase or the constituents? WHEN does that altered word order you mention occur?


-----

General comments: I think that sometimes you could do with a bit more clarity and precision in your explanations, and less reliance on English translations, as this can obscure the unique subtleties of the language.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:49 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:08 pm 
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- Why do you say there is a 'direct' case if it does not contrast with the nominative?

- 'there's a maximum of 11 voices a verb can express' - what? It can be in eleven voices at the same time?

- why do you call it the 'gnomic' when it has no gnomic element?

- Again, I'm struck by the extreme cartesian nature of the suffixing. For instance: given that an imperative implies a second person agent, what is the difference between saying "stand! (active)" and "stand! (gnomic)"?

- How is the 'locative' a voice? It seems like a short-hand way of predicating certain properties of locations. But in shorthanding it, surely you have to address issues of deixis? To where does the "here" refer? And can this only be used in exclamations?

- How often will people be saying "I command that you not have in the past continually eaten, because I command that there was no food!"?

- I don't know what the negative detransitive is, but it isn't a voice. It seems to be or include an aspect, a sort of post-terminative or 'depletive'.

- How do you deal with other negation? Non-depletive detransitives: "I didn't eat [although there was food]"? Or negative non-detransitives: "I didn't eat the pork [because there was none]."?

- The normal detransitive is an antipassive, isn't it? It's quite rare in the case of nom-acc languages, because it's not very useful. In this language, does the antipassive have semantic import, or is it purely a grammatical marker to indicate that no object need be expected?

- It's not clear to me: do benefactive arguments still require case or preposition marking? Likewise the patients of causatives?

- How are the passive and middle voices different in use?

- How are the reciprocal and egoist functions of the middle voice distinguished?

- How do you put a reflexive into another voice?

-

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But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
as though her heart was brook: Why, why, why! Weh, O weh
I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:14 pm 
Lebom
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:23 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:56 pm 
Avisaru
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You say that roots are either verbal, nominal or both. Does this mean that a verb cannot be derived from a noun based on a nominal root?

When adjectives are declined, can they head NPs?

Can pronouns refer to VPs? If not, are there some other tools to do so? (As in: "I was happy at the time, which is a good thing".

The temporal correlatives—do they not have any kind of temporal anaphora besides past/present? How are until now, until then and from now on, from then on expressed?

Regarding the verbal system—cool stuff—I'm all about figuring out valency propery in languages. It seems to me to be one of the most important aspects of verbs, and yet, it's only recently come to the attention of mainstream linguists. Intransitive/transitive without anything else is of barely any use at all in most languages. I really love the idea of the avalent voices. What was your inspiration here?

Regarding your choice of names, I find detransitive a good choice, rather than anti-passive, which always confuses me. Again, where did you get this term from? I've never heard it before. However, negative detransitive is confusing to me. Is it actually negative or am I misunderstanding terribly? Also, your use of the noun want is quite Edwardian. I would love to have some more examples of the middle voice, its use is not obvious from your explanation.

Finally, I would like to second Salmoneus' (Salmonei?) first three comments regarding POAs, case marking (which does not seem to be synchronous with the way it works in verbs). I know you are making a proto-language, but this seems so novel, you kind of have to understand how that came about. Was it that the accent used to be fixed, then after the elimination of some affix, jumped? How can you make it so that the verbal system's use of the accent as a marker and the nominal system's use, look like they could come from the same source? Right now, they look a teensy bit random.

But a lovely start, I must say.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:20 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:42 am 
Avisaru
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Last edited by Neek on Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:11 am 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:24 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:49 am 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:47 am 
Avisaru
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My plans? Well, I have a few things to work on:
1). Larger starting vocabulary. Currently, I have 261 independent lexemes, plus one reconstructed proper noun of a city. I'd be more comfortable once I have 600-700 words, then I can reduce that number in the daughter languages.
2). Culture and archeology. I want to work on cultural concepts, specifically relationships and proto-mythology, then work on archeological concepts. What time frame were they in? What technology did they possess? This will assist in developing a rudimentary history.
3). Once those are done, I can work on differentiating the dialects, to create the separate branches (North, West, South-Central, and two separate isolated dialects that possess no aerial features--perhaps more).

I can't really answer 3 yet, as I've had to scrap what aerial features made up the dialects when I started this project. It'll take some time to figure that out, but when I know, I'll post it.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:20 am 
Avisaru
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Again with the double posting! I have completed the redraft of the basic verbal morphology, including new details. Specifically, I took out the verb paradigm charts because they were false. I justified the existing endings with a bit of history.

But a much larger note is a piece of criticism left by Salmoneus: The lack of agreement has been justified. I have included agreement prefixes, and a bit of detail behind them. I also justified the formation of the detransitive case: At one point, pre-Proto-Deithas utilized object suffixes to agree with objects. This has eroded into the detransitive voice, leaving behind the object suffixes that agree with the subject.

So "I have eaten fish":
mentyágtey ehm praṣé.

But, I have eaten is:
ntyaghéy ehm.

(Or in some crazy instance of hypercorrection:
**mentyaghéy ehm, using the personal markers as a circumfix!).

I'll be sure to include more details in the update of voices, where I actually differentiate between true voices and functions of voices, which will reduce the number of voices to a realistic total.

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