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Sérhes Kéttw verb questions
http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=36717
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Author:  Nortaneous [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:05 am ]
Post subject:  Sérhes Kéttw verb questions

(I originally posted this in C&CQ, but right after posting, I realized it's not exactly quick anymore. Originally it was just a question about what sort of alignment this is, but I've been hitting enough walls lately with my horribly limited knowledge of syntax that I ended up having a lot more questions than that.)

I attempted Austronesian alignment in Sérhes Kéttw, but I'm not entirely sure what it is that I ended up with.

Topic marking is obligatory. The verb marks for A/P status of the topic: (ignore the weird phonological processes, metathesis, etc. in the examples)

Nián káibat rákyannenn.
né=an káibat rákyanne-t-n
1S=TOP book read-ACT.PFV-1S
I am reading a book. (although normally the pronoun and topic marker are dropped: Káibat rákyannenn.)

Káibann rákyanneran.
káibat=an rákyanne-ra-n
book=TOP read-PASS.PFV-1S
The book is being read by me.

And perfective/imperfective:

Nián káibatre rákyannengn.
né=an káibat-re rákyanne-ng-n
1S=TOP book-COLL read-ACT.IPFV-1S
I read books.

Káibatrian rákyannercan.
káibat-re=an rákyanne-cera-n
book-COLL=TOP read-PASS.IPFV-1S
I read books. (not sure how to pull this off in English)

And there's a separate set of endings in that slot for imperatives:

Céyan káibatre rákyanneyt!
céy=an káibat-re rákyanne-y-t
2S=TOP book-COLL read-ACT.IMP-2S
Read books!

Káibatrian rákyannesat!
káibat-re=an rákyanne-sa-t
book-COLL=TOP read-PASS.IMP-2S
Read books! (again, not sure how to pull this off in English; I'd translate it as "Read the books!", but that'd take the plural, not the collective)

I'm not sure how I'd handle trivalent verbs, but I'd guess it'd look something like:

Nián káibat láncakcang ḩéungenn.
né=an káibat láncak-cang ḩéung-t-n
1S=TOP book child-DAT give-ACT.PFV-1S
I am giving a book to a child.

Káibann láncakcang ḩéungran.
káibat=an láncak-cang ḩéung-ra-n
book=TOP child-DAT give-PASS.PFV-1S
I am giving a book to a child.

Láncakcangan káibat ḩéungran.
láncak-cang=an káibat ḩéung-ra-n
child-DAT=TOP book give-PASS.PFV-1S
I am giving a book to a child.

The verb template ordering so far is tense mood stem act/pass neg person:

Nián káibat eccarrákyannennan.
né=an káibat et-cal-rákyanne-t-nga-n
1S=TOP book FUT-POT-read-ACT.PFV-NEG-1S
I will probably not read the book.

So, a few questions:
1. What kind of alignment is this? Is it even realistic?
2. How could I make trivalent verbs more interesting? Would it be realistic to have another set of affixes for when the dative (or some other argument besides the agent or patient (?)) is the topic?
3. How realistic would it be to mark the object on the verb also, so even more could be left implicit? Where could that affix go?
4. Is there a better way to write the template ordering?
5. What sort of mood system should I have? (I just added the potential mood because I realized I didn't have any moods yet and I needed one for the example.) The Wikipedia article doesn't list that many moods. I might just steal everything from Finnish, but I'm trying to avoid relying too heavily on European langs.
6. What are some ways that this could handle interrogatives, especially yes-no questions? (I have a , if it matters.)
7. Are there any stupid mistakes or horribly unrealistic things in this that I've missed so far?

Author:  Yng [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sérhes Kéttw verb questions

Verb systems like these seem to be springing up all over the place recently. I tried something similar, although mine marks the topic with a null affix and any argument, including an adverbial, will be marked on the verb when topical. Apparently it's not attested in any natlang, but Tagalog has two applicative voices whose morphemes take the slot (IIRC) of the patient/agent focus morphemes, so it's really just a logical extension of that.

Author:  Nortaneous [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sérhes Kéttw verb questions

Yeah, it seems like a minor variation on Austronesian alignment, if I understand it correctly: nothing is marked but the direct, intransitive clauses use the agent marker, and word order is reversed.

Author:  vec [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sérhes Kéttw verb questions


Author:  Nortaneous [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sérhes Kéttw verb questions


Author:  vec [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sérhes Kéttw verb questions


Author:  vec [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sérhes Kéttw verb questions

On second thought, based on the examples you give, it does mess with valency, at least in some way, because it seems to forbid the subject or the more-agent-like constituent from appearing in the sentence, unless that's only what's going on in your examples. {wow, that's one long sentence]

Author:  Nortaneous [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sérhes Kéttw verb questions


Author:  vec [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sérhes Kéttw verb questions

So in essence:
A verb with an agent trigger marks that whatever's marked with the topic marker is the agent.
A verb with a patient trigger marks that whatever's marked with the topic marker is the patient.
Or we could say:
The trigger assigns kind-of-constituent marking to the topic marker.

Author:  Nortaneous [ Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sérhes Kéttw verb questions

Sounds right to me. Isn't that what Austronesian alignment does? It seems to me that, at least as described :

A verb with an agent trigger marks that whatever's marked with the direct case marker is the agent.
A verb with a patient trigger marks that whatever's marked with the direct case marker is the patient.

Also, it seems like the direct case marker is used to mark the topic (well, focus), so it seems like what I have here, unless I'm missing something, is Austronesian alignment with an unmarked indirect. I don't have the case-marking bit that Tagalog has, but that seems awesome enough that I might add it.

edit: also, questions

Kátwia saiáru?
kátw=ia sai-áru
time=TOP.Q Q-COP
What time is it? / When is it?

Káibatwia asairákyannett?
káibat-w=ia a-sai-rákyanne-t-t
book-PL=TOP.Q PAST-Q-read-ATRG.PFV-2S
Which books did you read?

Láncakcangan ḩasainákkat?
láncak-cang=an ḩa-sai-nák~k-t
child-DAT=TOP PAST-Q-death~CAUS-2S
Did you kill the child?

Author:  vec [ Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sérhes Kéttw verb questions

Why is the murdered child dative? Is that just a peculiarity of that verb? Or does it have to do with the causative?

Author:  Nortaneous [ Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Sérhes Kéttw verb questions

Causative. Although I think I'm going to drop that.

Author:  TomHChappell [ Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Sérhes Kéttw verb questions


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