Continuing the morphology and syntax discussion

Stephanie Morse stephaniemorse at UMAIL.UCSB.EDU
Fri Nov 2 16:32:33 UTC 2012


I've actually seen the animate/inanimate flexibility with at least one
speaker of Odawa. Howard Kimewon (who many of you probably met at the
conference) has said a number of times that he can make anything animate.
Though this seems to not be the case with all speakers. Unfortunately, I
haven't elicited many examples of this, but hopefully soon! It may just be
that you have to construct the proper discourse setting for it to make
sense why an ordinarily inanimate noun would be animate.

~Stephanie

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 7:46 AM, Nicole Petiquay
<nicolepetiquay at hotmail.com>wrote:

>  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
> > >
>
>


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/algonquiana/attachments/20121102/26542614/attachment.html>


More information about the Algonquiana mailing list