Continuing the morphology and syntax discussion

Bernie Francis plnal at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 8 22:49:34 UTC 2012


Of course Danielle! I feel honoured that you would even consider me much less actually cite me. So, by all means. bern 
 > Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2012 16:40:21 -0500
> From: dcyr at YORKU.CA
> Subject: Re: Continuing the morphology and syntax discussion
> To: ALGONQUIANA at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG
> 
> Hello again Bernie,
> 
> Look, the Listuguj Mi'gmaq and I are writing a book together, on the
> Gespe'gewa'gi. There is a part of one chapter dedicated to Mi'gmaw. Your
> expanation about the possible switch from animate to inanimate and vice versa
> is the perfect illustration of the speaker's freedom regarding how to customize
> grammar to his/her own discourse needs. May I cite you in our book?
> 
> Hopefully yes?
> 
> Danielle
> 
> Quoting Bernie Francis <plnal at HOTMAIL.COM>:
> 
> > Firstly, HELLO DANIELLE!!! Long time no hear. Thanks for your comment
> > Danielle yet as I stated, I don't know if it will help in the discussion.
> > Yet, I'm happy in knowing that YOU got it.
> >
> > I guess we all have much to learn.
> >
> > Thanks again my friend and all the best to you.
> >
> > ber
> >
> > Sent from my iPad
> >
> > On 2012-11-02, at 10:26 AM, "Danielle E. Cyr" <dcyr at YORKU.CA> wrote:
> >
> > > 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
> >
> >
> 
> 
> "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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