Continuing the morphology and syntax discussion

Solveiga Armoskaite solveiga.armoskaite at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 9 15:58:20 UTC 2012


Hi,

I have been listening to the conversation, and would like to offer my
humble contribution. I am attaching it as a pdf file, because it has some
graphics that could not be expressed well in the email format. I would
appreciate any/allcomments.

best,

Solveiga


On Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 7:31 PM, Bernie Francis <plnal at hotmail.com> wrote:

>  ....and to you as well, Danielle.
>
> bern
>
> > Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2012 19:24:17 -0500
>
> > From: dcyr at YORKU.CA
> > Subject: Re: Continuing the morphology and syntax discussion
> > To: ALGONQUIANA at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG
> >
> > Thank you so much Bernie. Your contribution is very much valued. When the
> > chapter is getting closer to its final version, I'll send it to you.
> >
> > Meanwhile, all the best,
> >
> > Danielle
> > Quoting Bernie Francis <plnal at HOTMAIL.COM>:
> >
> > >
> > > 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
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> > "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
>
>


-- 
Sincerely,

Solveiga Armoskaite


*University of Ottawa*
*Department of Linguistics *
Arts Hall
70 Laurier Avenue East
Room 401
Ottawa ON Canada
K1N 6N5


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