Continuing the morphology and syntax discussion

Nicole Petiquay nicolepetiquay at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 2 14:46:25 UTC 2012


J'aurais aimé comprendre et participer! mais je parle que le français!!!
 

> Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2012 09:33:49 -0400
> From: mmccaffe at INDIANA.EDU
> Subject: Re: Continuing the morphology and syntax discussion
> To: ALGONQUIANA at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG
> 
> This "grammatical liberty" regarding animate/inanimate nouns is 
> extremely interesting. I wonder how far it can be taken.
> 
> Michael McCafferty
> 
> Quoting "Danielle E. Cyr" <dcyr at YORKU.CA>:
> 
> > Hi Bernie,
> >
> > Wela'lin ugjit this beautiful example of the fluidity of Mi'kmaw and the
> > speaker's freedom to customize it accordingly to his/her own perceptions.
> >
> > This "grammatical liberty" is something that non Aboriginal linguists
> > often have
> > difficulty to cope with.
> >
> > Danielle Cyr
> >
> >
> > Quoting Bernie Francis <plnal at HOTMAIL.COM>:
> >
> >> Hi Richard,
> >>
> >> I wasn't planning on jumping into this but I'll throw out a couple of things
> >> to you re animacy/inanimacy at least in Mi'kmaw.
> >>
> >> The tree fell on the house is easily translated in Mi'kmaw as "Kmu'j
> >> eloqtesink+p wen'ji'kuomk."
> >>
> >> kmu'j = tree
> >>
> >> el = directional (that way)
> >>
> >> -oq = long shaped
> >>
> >> -tes = sudden/jerky movement
> >>
> >> -i = stative
> >>
> >> -k = animate
> >>
> >> -+p = past (plus sign represents schwa)
> >>
> >> wen'ji- = french
> >>
> >> -kuom = dwelling
> >>
> >> -k = locative
> >>
> >> The car ran into a tree. "Wutepaqn na't wen me'teskuapnn kmu'jl." ('ran' of
> >> course is out of character here. One would use 'to hit' or 'to bump into'
> >> since cars can't run) Therefore "Someone's car hit/bumped into a tree."
> >>
> >> W = 3rd per. possessive
> >>
> >> -utepaqn = car inan.
> >>
> >> na't wen = someone
> >>
> >> me'tesk = bump into
> >>
> >> -uap = past
> >>
> >> n = an.
> >>
> >> n = obv. ('l' in Restigouche dialect)
> >>
> >> kmu'j = tree an.
> >>
> >> l = obv. an.
> >>
> >> At least in Mi'kmaw Richard, there's nothing ungrammatical about the 2nd
> >> sentence.
> >>
> >> Sometime, animacy/inanimacy is determined by distance, i.e., a bus on my
> >> reserve is inanimate because (I believe) it's walking distance to town. In
> >> Eskasoni a reserve which is 30 miles from Sydney, N.S., it is animate. Yet,
> >> my theory falls down when I realize that a motorcycle is inanimate on my
> >> reserve but animate in Eskasoni.
> >>
> >> A fridge is always animate probably because it's very important in the
> >> household whereas a TV is inanimate (or so I thought). I discovered later
> >> that only the box around the TV is inanimate whereas the picture tube is
> >> animate. The new flat screen TV has grammatically taken on the
> >> inanimacy like
> >> the older sets.
> >>
> >> Inanimate objects in Mi'kmaw can easily become animate. It is we Mi'kmaq who
> >> may imbue that object with a spirit causing it to become animate. We can do
> >> this by recreating it in some way.
> >>
> >> I don't know if I helped or made things even more complicated. In
> >> any event I
> >> decided to send it along for your perusal.
> >>
> >> Good luck Richard.
> >>
> >> berni francis
> >>
> >>
> >> Sent from my iPad
> >>
> >> On 2012-11-01, at 8:04 PM, "Richard RHODES" <rrhodes at BERKELEY.EDU> wrote:
> >>
> >> > Charles (and everyone listening in),
> >> >
> >> > I think the hardcore linguists are concerned about just how much this
> >> discussion will be "inside baseball".
> >> >
> >> > To whit, Julie presented a wonderful paper on the relevance of
> >> sentience in the formation of Innu intransitive verbs.
> >> >
> >> > The general background is this: everyone knows that the class of
> >> "natural" animates are those things that are or appear to be capable of
> >> moving under their own power. Hence, cars, trains, and big boats. (These are
> >> opposed to words that are purely grammatical animates, like trees and
> >> blackberries, tobacco and pipes, and the like.) For some time, people have
> >> been observing that there are syntactic restrictions on grammatical animates
> >> that are not "natural" animates. So many languages have restrictions on
> >> straightforward translations of clauses like:
> >> >
> >> > The tree fell on the house.
> >> >
> >> > Words that are not "natural" animates are banned (or at least greatly
> >> dispreferred) as the subjects of TI's. (If any of the native speakers out
> >> there find such clauses OK in their language, I'd sure like to know.)
> >> >
> >> > Trickier are sentences like:
> >> >
> >> > The car ran into the tree.
> >> >
> >> > Most of my consultants in Ottawa find such sentences completely
> >> ungrammatical, or at the least very weird. But no one has worked much on the
> >> problem.
> >> >
> >> > So that brings us to Julie's paper. She argued from features of II verb
> >> derivation that there is a three distinction in animacy. She called the most
> >> animate entities sentient. Those that are capable of some kinds of
> >> self-action, but not of awareness (my terms, not hers) teleological. (The
> >> view is more nuanced, but this will do for now.) And all the rest are
> >> inanimate. At that point, some of us would have said she had a paper and
> >> could have walked away.
> >> >
> >> > But, of course, she didn't. Julie wants to do more. So she spent a good
> >> deal of her paper talking about the mechanics of placing the
> >> relevant part of
> >> verb structure in a particular place in the pre-fab structure
> >> dictated by the
> >> approach to syntax she ascribes to.
> >> >
> >> > Phil Lesourd and I asked whether seeking a structural solution was the
> >> right way to go.
> >> >
> >> > My question was based on the English example which was provably semantic,
> >> not structural. Phil's question was more general.
> >> >
> >> > But the whole discussion got bogged down. Julie seemed to be saying that
> >> there's great value in UG -- which neither Phil nor I believe -- and that's
> >> as far as it got.
> >> >
> >> > More later,
> >> >
> >> > Rich
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > On Wed, 31 Oct 2012 11:25:28 -0400, Charles Bishop wrote:
> >> >
> >> > Hi Richard,
> >> > Sorry that I couldn't be at this year's AC. What was Julie's point?
> >> > Charles
> >> >
> >> > On Oct 30, 2012, at 4:07 PM, Richard RHODES wrote:
> >> >
> >> > Folks,
> >> >
> >> > I'm just putting out a feeler to see if there is interest in
> >> continuing the
> >> syntax morphology discussion online.
> >> >
> >> > It seemed like Julie Brittain's paper on Sunday morning put us
> >> right in the
> >> middle of it again, but half of the folks were already gone by then.
> >> >
> >> > Let me know if it's worth talking in this venue.
> >> >
> >> > Cheers,
> >> >
> >> > Rich Rhodes
> >> >
> >> > Richard A. Rhodes
> >> > Department of Linguistics
> >> > 1203 Dwinelle Hall #2650
> >> > University of California
> >> > Berkeley, 94720
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> > "The only hope we have as human beings is to learn each other's
> > languages. Only
> > then can we truly hope to understand one another."
> >
> > Professor Danielle E. Cyr
> > Department of French Studies
> > York University
> > Toronto, ON, Canada, M3J 1P3
> > Tel. 1.416.736.2100 #310180
> > FAX. 1.416.736.5924
> > dcyr at yorku.ca
> >
 		 	   		  

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