zompist bboard

THIS IS AN ARCHIVE ONLY - see Ephemera
It is currently Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:56 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 171 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 7  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:56 pm 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 12:23 pm
Posts: 1652
Location: I am a prisoner in my own mind.
I'd imagine a common way is to not allow incorporated nouns to take relative clauses.

_________________
Image Image
Common Zein Scratchpad & other Stuffs! OMG AN ACTUAL CONPOST WTFBBQ

Formerly known as Drydic.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:02 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 11:50 pm
Posts: 568
Location: California
Whimemsz, this is a mighty effort. I plan on reading through this thoroughly tomorrow, as I am really interested in polysynthesis / complex morphology theoretically in my work and just...this is great. Good job.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:27 am 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2004 5:40 pm
Posts: 1248
Location: Si'ahl
dhokarena56 wrote:
Question: if a nominal participant is incorporated, how do polysynthetic languages tag a relative clause onto it? I mean, if "Mom gave me milk" is expressed something like "Mom milk-me-gave," what about "Mom gave me the milk that she bought at the supermarket"?

Incorporated nouns are usually no longer available to be modified, so sentence 2 would not be expressed using an incorporated noun. Or rather, it wouldn't be if the speaker were trying to convey all that information with one sentence, But it I'm not actually don't know of any North American languages that have relative clauses in the first place. You're more likely to find that sort of information split up: "Mom gave me the milk. She bought it at the supermarket."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:26 am 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:36 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Utrecht Overvecht
Whimemsz wrote:
But secondly, they frequently drop entire NPs, not just pronouns. Even in mildly-configurational polysynthetic languages, like Ojibwe, it's very rare for both the subject and object of a verb to be expressed with NPs.

How can you tell that it is a full NP that has been dropped and not a pronoun? In other words, what is the evidence for this?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:03 am 
Sanci
Sanci
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:11 am
Posts: 42
What a great thread! :) It reminds me times, when I wanted to create a polysynthetic language myself... I hope it's not going to dissapear after some time (I remember that this was often the case with many threads before, at least while ZBB was on its former hosting).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:09 am 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:05 pm
Posts: 1273
I'm working on a fairly polysynthetic language at the moment. I'll try to find more inspiration in this thread. Thanks! Great job.

If anybody wants to judge my work or simply try to find some inspiration in that, here's my currently longest text in it, complete with glosses, dual translations and pronunciation as well as additional comments and explanations at the end: http://www.aveneca.com/cbb/viewtopic.ph ... 173#p83173

_________________
Online dictionary for my conlang Vanga: http://royalrailway.com/tungumaalMiin/Vanga/

#undef FEMALE

I'd love for you to try my game out! Here's the forum thread about it:
http://zbb.spinnwebe.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=36688

Of an Ernst'ian one.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:11 am 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 12:23 pm
Posts: 1652
Location: I am a prisoner in my own mind.
Archaeopteryx wrote:
What a great thread! :) It reminds me times, when I wanted to create a polysynthetic language myself... I hope it's not going to dissapear after some time (I remember that this was often the case with many threads before, at least while ZBB was on its former hosting).

L&L doesn't prune topics (the only ones that do now are C&C Quickies and Ephemera), so the only way this could disappear is if a mod actively deleted it, which I believe a lot of people would screech at.

_________________
Image Image
Common Zein Scratchpad & other Stuffs! OMG AN ACTUAL CONPOST WTFBBQ

Formerly known as Drydic.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:59 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 9:05 am
Posts: 275
Location: Nottingham, England
Radius Solis wrote:
That can be tricky for languages you do not speak, and to some extent the notion of word boundaries may not even apply fully to all languages. But for the most part is is generally possible to look at some of the behaviors that words display and usually they will line up with each other. The more that they don't, the more arbitrary the idea of word boundaries becomes.


I read the following book a while ago:

http://www.amazon.com/Word-Cross-lingui ... 0521818990

Different chapters are written by different authors within a generally consistent framework. IIRC, some of the authors distinguished between "phonological" and "grammatical" words. A phonological word was determined by factors such as prosody, sandhi etc, whereas a grammatical word was a syntactic unit which had properties such as resistance to having material inserted into the middle of it. Of course, clitics, which are grammatical words but not phonological words are well known. But the opposite also occurs: for example, some languages have serial verb constructions where the verbs retain independent stress and appear to be phonologically unintegrated, but cannot be separated and behave as a unit for syntactic purposes. These SVCs could be said to be phonologically multiple words but grammatically a single word.

Of course, things are even messier than that in real life, but as a first approximation I think that two level division can be quite handy. The biggest confusion tends to come when people confuse the phonological and syntactic criteria.

EDIT: One way things can be more complicated is when there are levels of integration. Some languages with complex verbs, such as IIRC Navajo and some Bantu languages, show a split between an inner core which is more phonologically integrated and an outer series of affixes which isn't affected by the full set of possible processes.

_________________
Try the online version of the HaSC sound change applier: http://chrisdb.dyndns-at-home.com/HaSC


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:56 pm 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:05 pm
Posts: 1273
I've read almost everything now and I have indeed gotten some new thoughts spinning in my head, so once again, thanks.

I just translated some lyrics and the line 'it's like I'm walking on broken glass' turned out as 'jéwwįwíjáslmajsalaltawœn'. :D
That's break-glitter-SUPESS-walk<SUBJ>-1P-SEMBL-ESS.3PS, broken up as jég-vín-vÁj-á<z(A)>lm-Aj-(A)s-AlAltA-wœn.

_________________
Online dictionary for my conlang Vanga: http://royalrailway.com/tungumaalMiin/Vanga/

#undef FEMALE

I'd love for you to try my game out! Here's the forum thread about it:
http://zbb.spinnwebe.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=36688

Of an Ernst'ian one.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:03 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 4:56 pm
Posts: 690
Location: Gimaamaa onibaaganing
merijn wrote:
Whimemsz wrote:
But secondly, they frequently drop entire NPs, not just pronouns. Even in mildly-configurational polysynthetic languages, like Ojibwe, it's very rare for both the subject and object of a verb to be expressed with NPs.

How can you tell that it is a full NP that has been dropped and not a pronoun? In other words, what is the evidence for this?

Good question!

I don't know. Maybe someone else might?


dhokarena56 wrote:
Question: if a nominal participant is incorporated, how do polysynthetic languages tag a relative clause onto it? I mean, if "Mom gave me milk" is expressed something like "Mom milk-me-gave," what about "Mom gave me the milk that she bought at the supermarket"?

Presumably, in cases where "milk-give" is a set lexical compound, you'd either use two separate independent clauses ("Mom milkgave me, she bought the milk at the supermarket); or the language might permit constructions like "Mom milkgave me from the supermarket" (I didn't mention this sort of this in my initial post on NI; I'm going to add it in at some point).

But, especially for languages which use NI as a discourse-manipulating device, NI is mainly used to background established or unimportant information. So you'd never really need to say "Mom milkgave me that she bought at the supermarket". If the milk is salient enough in the current discourse that you're specifying where it came from, you probably aren't going to incorporate it. You'll either have something like "mom milkgave me" or "mom gave me milk that she bought at the supermarket", or perhaps "mom gave me milk that she milkbought at the supermarket". Assuming the language even has relative clauses, which it doesn't necessarily need to.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:33 pm 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2003 11:46 am
Posts: 1138
Location: The vendée of America
Whimemsz wrote:
Assuming the language even has relative clauses, which it doesn't necessarily need to.


Vohp said that the polysynthetic languages he studied lacked relative clauses. He claimed that least some of them drew no distinction between independent clauses, relative clauses, participles, or even nouns. A verb meaning "he works metal" could also mean "he who works metal", "metal-working (one)", or even just "metal-worker" without any morphological change. Does that sound like something you've encountered in the languages you've studied?

_________________
Image
"There was a particular car I soon came to think of as distinctly St. Louis-ish: a gigantic white S.U.V. with a W. bumper sticker on it for George W. Bush."


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:37 pm 
Sumerul
Sumerul

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 2974
Location: Israel
Jabechasqvi wrote:
Vohp said that the polysynthetic languages he studied lacked relative clauses. He claimed that least some of them drew no distinction between independent clauses, relative clauses, participles, or even nouns. A verb meaning "he works metal" could also mean "he who works metal", "metal-working (one)", or even just "metal-worker" without any morphological change. Does that sound like something you've encountered in the languages you've studied?
You don't need polysynthesis to do that. Hebrew present-tense verbs can act as all four of those with no morphological change (because they're derived from participles in the first place).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:55 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 4:56 pm
Posts: 690
Location: Gimaamaa onibaaganing
Jabechasqvi wrote:
Whimemsz wrote:
Assuming the language even has relative clauses, which it doesn't necessarily need to.


Vohp said that the polysynthetic languages he studied lacked relative clauses. He claimed that least some of them drew no distinction between independent clauses, relative clauses, participles, or even nouns. A verb meaning "he works metal" could also mean "he who works metal", "metal-working (one)", or even just "metal-worker" without any morphological change. Does that sound like something you've encountered in the languages you've studied?

Kind of? I only have intimate knowledge of one polylang, though (Ojibwe), and Jeff only had of two (Mohawk and Cheyenne), so you shouldn't draw any conclusions from that data. As Astraios says, non-polylangs can do the same thing.

I do have a paper here on relativization strategies in polysynthetic languages, though. I'll read it and get back to you!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:34 pm 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2003 1:48 pm
Posts: 1128
Location: Litareng, Keynami
For what it's worth, vlad gave examples of how Nahuatl nouns could also be interpreted as relative clauses on IRC once. I don't remember the details, though. And I frankly don't know if Nahuatl is also usually considered to be polysynthetic.

NE: I dug my logs and found this convo from Long Ago, which is probably the one I was thinking of:

Quote:
[28.01.2009 23:27:02] <vlad> Xephyr]: Relative clauses in Nahuatl are marked by in at the start of them.
[28.01.2009 23:27:19] <vlad> which is also used for some other kinds of subordinate clauses
[28.01.2009 23:27:47] <vlad> like nicnequi in nicquaz "I want to eat it" (lit. I-want-it that I-will-eat-it)
[28.01.2009 23:29:20] <vlad> it's ambiguous as to what the, thing, is.
[28.01.2009 23:29:36] <vlad> like it could be the subject or the object, you just have to know from context
[28.01.2009 23:29:50] <vlad> like Japanese
[28.01.2009 23:30:08] <vlad> although I think Japanese is even more flexible
[28.01.2009 23:30:32] <Xephyr]> vlad: Those are the most boring relative clauses ever.
[28.01.2009 23:31:24] <vlad> everything's a relative clause
[28.01.2009 23:31:29] <Xephyr]> Instead of "bird" it's "that which be's a bird"
[28.01.2009 23:31:32] <vlad> also uh
[28.01.2009 23:32:11] <vlad> eh nevermind
[28.01.2009 23:32:20] <vlad> it's not important
[28.01.2009 23:32:39] <vlad> what I think is important though
[28.01.2009 23:33:04] <vlad> is to distinguish between modifier-type relative clauses, and wossname relative clauses
[28.01.2009 23:33:13] <vlad> appositional ones
[28.01.2009 23:33:16] <Xephyr]> Oh
[28.01.2009 23:33:24] <Xephyr]> The ones that are necessary information vs the ones that aren't?
[28.01.2009 23:33:28] <vlad> also adjectives.
[28.01.2009 23:33:37] <vlad> no
[28.01.2009 23:33:50] <vlad> that's a different thing
[28.01.2009 23:34:04] <Xephyr]> VLad: Oh
[28.01.2009 23:34:08] <vlad> like in English most relative clauses modify some noun
[28.01.2009 23:34:11] <Xephyr]> What are modifier, wossname, and adjective type relcaluses?
[28.01.2009 23:34:16] <vlad> and can't stand on their own
[28.01.2009 23:34:28] <vlad> while in e.g. Latin, relative clauses are also noun phrases
[28.01.2009 23:34:39] <vlad> you can put them next to a noun if you want but that's the same as putting a noun next to a noun
[28.01.2009 23:34:53] <Xephyr]> Example?
[28.01.2009 23:35:01] <vlad> Nahuatl is like Latin, Japanese is more like English


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:11 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 8:46 pm
Posts: 96
Aha, neat. I spent the last week on a big writeup on polysynthesis that I was going to post, but you've covered most of what I had and more.

Definitely the two most interesting papers on this were Marianne Mithun's 1984 paper "The evolution of noun incorporation", which is available in JSTOR, and Johanna Mattissen's 2004 paper "A structural typology of polysynthesis", is only on actual paper. Everybody should read that Mithun paper, it's great.

Quote:
What are some techniques for analyzing word boundaries? How do you tell the difference between a polysynthetic language and a less-synthetic language written without spaces?


One thing that Mithun argues later on, after discussing the Koryak whale-hunting and Mohawk examples, is that this kind of noun incorporation remains a lexical, not syntactic process for the Mohawk speakers. That is, when a person uses an incorporated noun for the first time, everyone is aware that they have coined a novel word, since they are aware of the whole inventory of such words. (If Baker argues that noun incorporation is a syntactic not lexical process, they I really need to read through him more thoroughly. But the criticism I've read of Baker is that he attempts to reduce polysynthesis to a single parameter, when it is better described as a confluence of traits. For example, it seems that there is a significant group of polysynthetic languages such as the Inuit group that do not synthesize multiple lexical roots into a word. Rather than making use of noun incorporation or verb root serialization, they instead have a very large palette of non-root bound morphemes that express adjectival or adverbial meanings. And there are a lot of languages that mix these approaches in various ways).

Noun incorporation usually strips the noun of its specificity and definiteness. In Koryak, the verb incorporating a noun considers the action as a unitary event: whalehunting, woodcutting, and tentbreaking are unitary, name-worthy activities, but picking brushwood, loading tents, and loading boats are not, and don't incorporate the noun.

Ponder the differences between these examples:
He's off picking the berries.
He's off berrypicking.


And when you look at some of the example of the incorporated noun and the non-incorporated noun, it's very clear that they're different. Especially: Look at the position of the pronominal affixes, for example. Polysynthetic languages also tend to have complicated morphophonemic rules that may apply.

Ainu has a couple of different prononimal markers, for transitive and intransitive verbs as subject or object. a- is the transitive 1st-person prefix and -an is the intransitive 1st-person suffix. So compare:
Code:
kina         a-e          rusuy
herbs        1SG-eat   want
"I want to eat herbs"

kina-e-rusuy-an
herbs-eat-want-1SG

(Shibatani, 1990, p. 63)


The pronominal affixes are in different positions to mark the noun incorporation, and the intransitive affix is used in the incorporated form. This isn't always the case, but the shifting position of the pronominal affix does help mark the incorporation. In one sense, you could look at it as "infixation of the noun". More Ainu:

Code:
mukacaraha a-tuye
his chest  1SG-cut
"I cut his chest"

a-mukcar-tuye
1SG-chest-cut

(Shibatani, 1990, p. 64)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:36 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 3:04 pm
Posts: 821
As an addendum to your post on noun incorporation, I'd like to add that sometimes, the noun in question may be grammatically incorporated into the verb complex, but phonologically remains an independent word. An example from Zuni:

Code:
UNINCORPORATED COMPLEMENT:
kih                 ʔi:y-aš-ka
ceremonial_brother  RECIP-make-PST

INCORPORATED COMPLEMENT:
ʔi:-kih                   ʔaš-ka
RECIP-ceremonial_brother  make-PST
"they made each other ceremonial brothers

UNINCORPORATED SUBJECT:
ʔas   ʔa:w-allu-kka
hand  PL.S-move_about-PST

INCORPORATED SUBJECT:
ʔa:w-as    ʔa:w-allu-kka
PL.S-hand  PL.S-move_about-PST
"he felt about with his hands" (lit. "the hand[s] moved about")


The prefixes ʔi:- and ʔa:w- are verbal prefixes that don't normally appear before nouns, indicating that kih and ʔas are grammatically part of the verbal complex. However, each is stressed as a separate word (stress is initial in Zuni): ʔi:kih, ʔa:was.

Maybe this represents a transitional stage, between isolation and full incorporation?


Source: Newman, Stanley. Zuni Grammar. 1965.

_________________
"It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be said, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is.' Rather, the Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."
The Gospel of Thomas


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:53 am 
Sumerul
Sumerul

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:38 am
Posts: 2974
Location: Israel
Trailsend wrote:
What are some techniques for analyzing word boundaries? How do you tell the difference between a polysynthetic language and a less-synthetic language written without spaces?
You can find incorporation vs. non-incorporation by changing the stress of the phrase, as in Lakota, where stress can only be on the first or second syllable of a word:

Čhaŋwákakse. ~ Čháŋ wakákse.
I chopped wood.

Pteblúha. ~ Pté bluhá.
I am a rancher. ~ I have cattle.

Mázaska. ~ Máza ská.
Money. ~ Iron is white.

Mnišá. ~ Mní šá.
Wine. ~ Water is red.

Sihánisapa. ~ Sihá nisápa.
You are a Blackfeet. ~ Your foot is black.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:10 am 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:18 am
Posts: 97
----


Last edited by Left on Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:29 am 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2002 12:23 pm
Posts: 1652
Location: I am a prisoner in my own mind.
Gojera wrote:
Aha, neat. I spent the last week on a big writeup on polysynthesis that I was going to post, but you've covered most of what I had and more.

Definitely the two most interesting papers on this were Marianne Mithun's 1984 paper "The evolution of noun incorporation", which is available in JSTOR, and Johanna Mattissen's 2004 paper "A structural typology of polysynthesis", is only on actual paper. Everybody should read that Mithun paper, it's great.


Nice. Too bad it's behind a paywall. Most people don't have access to JSTOR.

_________________
Image Image
Common Zein Scratchpad & other Stuffs! OMG AN ACTUAL CONPOST WTFBBQ

Formerly known as Drydic.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:38 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 9:05 am
Posts: 275
Location: Nottingham, England
Xephyr wrote:
As an addendum to your post on noun incorporation, I'd like to add that sometimes, the noun in question may be grammatically incorporated into the verb complex, but phonologically remains an independent word. An example from Zuni:

Code:
UNINCORPORATED COMPLEMENT:
kih                 ʔi:y-aš-ka
ceremonial_brother  RECIP-make-PST

INCORPORATED COMPLEMENT:
ʔi:-kih                   ʔaš-ka
RECIP-ceremonial_brother  make-PST
"they made each other ceremonial brothers

UNINCORPORATED SUBJECT:
ʔas   ʔa:w-allu-kka
hand  PL.S-move_about-PST

INCORPORATED SUBJECT:
ʔa:w-as    ʔa:w-allu-kka
PL.S-hand  PL.S-move_about-PST
"he felt about with his hands" (lit. "the hand[s] moved about")


The prefixes ʔi:- and ʔa:w- are verbal prefixes that don't normally appear before nouns, indicating that kih and ʔas are grammatically part of the verbal complex. However, each is stressed as a separate word (stress is initial in Zuni): ʔi:kih, ʔa:was.

Maybe this represents a transitional stage, between isolation and full incorporation?


Source: Newman, Stanley. Zuni Grammar. 1965.


Another step would be "noun stripping". For example, in Basque there are lexicalised noun + verb combinations where the noun is still a separate word, but it cannot take any case suffixes or modifiers. The noun is clearly a separate word despite this because it need not be next to the main verb.

So I would guess it might go something like this:

full argument > loss of ability to accept modifiers / role marking > loss of grammatical independence (must occur next to verb) > loss of phonological independence (part of the same phonological word as the verb stem)

Basque is in stage (2) of this process, Zuni is in stage (3), and typical incorporating languages are in stage (4).

EDIT: Also, thanks for these examples, they might be useful for the conlang I'm currently working on. It has serial verb constructions and normally all the verbs must be continguous, with any referential arguments etc occurring before the verb phrase.

E.g. I his-hair [come cut]
NOT I [come] his-hair [cut]

But I've been thinking about allowing nouns to occur next to their verbs only in the case where they are effectively generic or non-referential.

E.g. He tree come axe cut -> "He came and axe-cut the tree"

Now, the verbs in the SVCs are phonologically separate words (they retain stress and independent tone), even though grammatically they behave as a unit. I've been debating whether nouns treated like this should remain independent words or not...

_________________
Try the online version of the HaSC sound change applier: http://chrisdb.dyndns-at-home.com/HaSC


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:48 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 4:56 pm
Posts: 690
Location: Gimaamaa onibaaganing
Mithun's paper actually mentions some cases of what I would call semi-incorporation, for instance in a number of Austronesian languages, and discusses some of the paths by which NI can develop. I was planning on talking about that more in-depth in the section on the development of polysynthesis. When I eventually get to it.

Maybe I'll work on the last couple sections today. We'll see.



(Also, this reminds me, I'm gonna have to edit the NI post, since there are languages in which NI is not a valence-decreasing operation, but I didn't really discuss that there.)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:08 pm 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2004 5:40 pm
Posts: 1248
Location: Si'ahl
chris_notts wrote:
Another step would be "noun stripping". For example, in Basque there are lexicalised noun + verb combinations where the noun is still a separate word, but it cannot take any case suffixes or modifiers. The noun is clearly a separate word despite this because it need not be next to the main verb.

So I would guess it might go something like this:

full argument > loss of ability to accept modifiers / role marking > loss of grammatical independence (must occur next to verb) > loss of phonological independence (part of the same phonological word as the verb stem)

Basque is in stage (2) of this process, Zuni is in stage (3), and typical incorporating languages are in stage (4).


FWIW English incorporation could be called stage-3 as well; there's no real phonological merging going on in "deer-hunting" or "doctor-recommended" - there is a full stress in each word - but in order to use that construction the noun must be to the immediate left of the verb and it cannot generally take any marking of its own. One the other hand we do have a handful of cases that are more like stage 4 at least insofar as the resulting word has only one full stress, such as "babysit".

And on that point I should also add that NI is not really marginal in English... certainly it's nowhere near as well-installed as in many other languages, but we do use it. You can find incorporated nouns all over the place, for instance it appears twice in Whim's own Table of Contents ("noun incorporation" is an example of itself, and "head-marking" is an incorporation too).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:39 pm 
Lebom
Lebom
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 188
It's significant, though, that all but one of your examples are substantivized. English is certainly very flexible with deverbal compounds, but not really so much with "NI". Consider: My cousins deer hunt all the time out in the country, He doctor recommended me a new allergy medication, Polysynthetic languages often noun incorporate and head mark. They aren't awful or uninterpretable, but they sound somewhat stilted or playful. Babysit is an interesting counterexample (or is it? When one babysits one doesn't sit babies).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:34 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 4:56 pm
Posts: 690
Location: Gimaamaa onibaaganing
(An extra-special thank you to Radius for helping me out with writing a significant portion of this section!)

7 - Head-marking

Languages with polypersonal agreement are also, in general, head-marking languages: agreement with a direct object is an instance of head-marking. To understand what this means, we first need to understand what a "head" is in linguistics. The head of any given phrase is, essentially, the central part of the phrase, around which the other elements in the phrase revolve. A head also is what gives the phrase its particular syntactic role (e.g., a noun is the head of a noun phrase (NP), a verb the head of a verb phrase (VP), a preposition the head of a prepositional phrase (PP), and so on). All the other words in the phrase are "dependents." In an NP this includes things like a possessor, adjectives, an article, etc. In a VP this includes the object(s) of the verbs.

We can use the English NP small cat as an example. Here, the second word, "cat", is the head. You can tell because: (1) the phrase behaves grammatically like a single noun would (thus, in any noun phrase, the head is a noun); and (2) the whole phrase refers to a cat, it doesn't refer to a small. So we say that in this phrase, "small" is a dependent and "cat" is the head. (Cautionary note: in many languages the order of these two elements would be reversed: you'd say "cat small". This has nothing to do with which word is the head.)

Now, a dependent and its head have some relationship. It could be possession, it could be attribution, it could be a verb or a preposition with an object, or various other things, but there is always a relationship between the two words that is conveyed by the phrase. In many languages, some of these relationships are explicitly marked. Possession is an English example: it's marked with the the suffix -s, as in Sally's cat. Note that the relationship between the two nouns in this NP is marked on the dependent--that is, the possessor--of the phrase, rather than on the head (the NP as a whole refers to a cat, not to a Sally, so "cat" is the head). In this instance, English shows dependent-marking: that is, marking grammatical relations on the dependent of the phrase rather than on the head. Now, recall that a VP consists most basically of a verb (the head) and (if transitive) its direct object (a dependent). Polypersonal marking is thus a form of head-marking: polypersonal-marking polysynthetic languages by definition mark the head of a VP to indicate grammatical relationships within the phrase.

Languages, in general, tend to be fairly consistent in whether they're head-marking or dependent-marking (incidentally, this is one reason the order of the verb and its object correlates with a number of other constituent orders, like adjectives and nouns, prepositions and their objects, or possessors and possessums: these are just different instantiations of a preference for head-dependent or dependent-head orders). Polysynthetic languages are no exception: as discussed in previous posts, they tend to mark a huge amount of information about the whole clause or sentence with verbal affixes, whereas a dependent-marking language would be more likely to mark such relations with noun cases (objects, recall, are dependents of the verb). Most polysynthetic languages, for example, mark possession relationships on the head: that is, on the possessed noun, rather than (or, sometimes, in addition to) the possessor. Acoma Keresan is of this type. Consider the following examples (I've removed some of the many diacritics from this example, since they have no bearing on the discussion): ṣúy̓ati kam̓ásdí, "(the) boy his-hand" (="the boy's hand"); sam̓ásdí, "my-hand". Note that the relationship is marked on the possessed noun, the hand, rather than on the possessor as is the case in the English free translation.

But, it's important to realize that this is just a tendency, rather than a hard and fast rule. There are certainly polysynthetic languages with noun cases, for instance. A number of such languages are found in the Plateau region and California in North America, and some of their case systems can look positively Indo-Europeany or Uralicky. For example, Lake Miwok distinguishes ten cases: nominative, accusative, genitive, instrumental, locative, allative, ablative, comitative, appositive, and vocative. Marianne Mithun, in Languages of Native North America, provides examples for each:

  • The nominative, which marks subjects: kúkun ʔintíkkit maṭáa wace = "A flea (NOM) must have bitten your forehead"

  • The accusative, which marks both direct and indirect objects, as well as "arguments that might be oblique in other languages": káacu ʔúṭe = "He saw the fish (ACC)"; kiwwauc kanic wajan = "Give me (ACC) the arrow (ACC)"; máataju hínammakṭu wéeta = "He was bragging about that man (ACC)."

  • The genitive, which marks possessors: ʔólen ṣúluk = "coyote skin" (coyote-GEN skin). Note that although the genitive in this example seems to be homophonous with the nominative, it's apparent from other examples that this isn't always the case, so the two are distinct cases.

  • The instrumental, which is used for classic instrumentals meaning "with", "by means of", "using", but can evidently also be translated with "from", "through", and "in" in other cases: tumájṭu ʔíṭi kapakáaṭi = "I hit him with a stick."

  • The locative, which marks locations: máac numáawam móla = "She piled that in a different place."

  • The allative, which "indicates direction toward a goal": réejto ʔonínnuka = "He brought (them) to the king"; wejáat ʔutéhhinte = "where he fell onto the ground." The allative also indicates locations in time: ʔáwwet káṣṣat ṣe ʔinʔuṭéewelak = "Tomorrow I'll see you at this time again" (tomorrow-ALL this.time-ALL I'll.see.you).

  • The ablative, which "marks a source": tájhmu kawéeṭa = "I walked away from that man."

  • The comitative, which shows accompaniment, and is also used in many situations where other languages use conjunctions: kaʔáppini kawícaj = "I am walking with my father"; kaʔunúuni kaʔáppini háaliko nít kocṣúkuh = "My mother and my father are still here."

  • The appositive is shown by the absence of an overt case marker: it's used in citation, "in exclamations, and after demonstratives. It is often translated 'it is'."

  • Finally, there are vocative forms for kinship terms: ʔunúu ʔujée = "Mother, come here!" (cf. ʔúnu, the basic form for "mother").

Lake Miwok, nonetheless, does have polypersonal marking and other attributes common in polysynthetic languages. So, even if a language is mostly or partly head-marking (as all polysynthetic languages are), it's still entirely possible for it to use dependent marking as well.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:51 pm 
Smeric
Smeric
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2004 5:40 pm
Posts: 1248
Location: Si'ahl
ná'oolkiłí wrote:
It's significant, though, that all but one of your examples are substantivized.
Well. It's significant that most of our NI examples are not easily employed as finite verbs, I agree with that - but for the record, along with our substantivized NI verbs there are also plenty that serve mainly as modifiers: a peer-reviewed journal, a time-tested recipe, a cherry-picked example, a steam-driven engine, a cheese-eating liberal, a Swahili-speaking community. So Whim was quite right to point out that most of them are restricted to being used with derivational morphology, just not that they are marginal - at least, not marginal in the sense of being rare or completely unproductive. Some can appear with more than one sort of affix: deer-hunting / deer hunter, window-washing / window washer, cherry-picking / cherry-picked.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 171 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 7  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group