reversative morphemes (fwd)
dryer at buffalo.edu
Sun May 1 03:04:19 UTC 2005
Paul Hopper has asked me to forward this to the list.
> On reversatives: It doesn't seem enough to rely on English translations
> like "back" or "again". It would be interesting - in fact essential - to
> know something about the surrounding discourse contexts in which Kutenai
> <la> is used. Does it "reverse" a previous assumption/expectation, for
> example? This would be like English
> <turn round and>
> that has been discussed in the literature (including my paper "Hendiadys
> and Auxiliation in English" in the Thompson festschrift 'Complex
> Sentences in Grammar & Discourse' ed. Bybee/Noonan Benjamins 2002), as in
> "they turned round and fired him". A suggestion: it might be fruitful to
> extend the search from "morphemes" to include "constructions".
>> A student of mine, Scott Paauw, is interested in identifying references
>> to reversative morphemes in various languages, grammatical morphemes
>> that sometimes translate into English as ?back? and sometimes as ?again?
>> (so that when combining with ?He went?, the resulting meaning might be
>> either ?He went back? or ?He went again?). In some languages, such as
>> Kutenai, the reversative has a use that goes beyond this, that occurs in
>> clauses containing a morpheme that is semantically negative, illustrated
>> by the following (using <l> to represent the voiceless lateral
>> taxa-s la lit-uk-s-i.
> then-obv revers
>> without-water-obv.subj-indic ?Then there was no more water.?
>> An English translation with ?again? doesn?t work, like ?Then they were
>> without water again?, since that implies that they are returning to a
>> state without water, when the original sentence appears not to have any
>> such implication. Another Kutenai example:
>> qapi-l la lu?-s-i all-prvb
> revers not.exist-obv.subj-indic ?All
>> of them were gone ?
>> Scott tells me that there is a reversative morpheme in Indonesian that
>> shares this property with Kutenai. So he is interested in any other
>> information about reversatives, especially any other instances where
>> they interact with negative morphemes in this way.
>> You can reply either to me or to Scott (shpaauw at buffalo.edu).
>> Matthew Dryer
> -- Paul J. Hopper Director of Graduate Studies Paul Mellon Distinguished
> Professor of the Humanities Department of English College of Humanities
> and Social Sciences Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 15232, USA
> Tel. 412-683-1109 Fax 412-268-7989
Paul J. Hopper
Director of Graduate Studies
Paul Mellon Distinguished Professor of the Humanities
Department of English
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15232, USA
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