Terminology for verbal derivation

Daniel Everett dan at daneverett.org
Mon Jul 16 19:51:09 UTC 2012

It is possible that 'applicative' is the best term here, depending on local linguistic traditions.

But as Sally and I (and different co-authors) showed in a series of papers on Salish the range of ways to modify/signal modification of various manifestations of transitivity and valence go beyond currently available terminology. I don't mind terms like 'applicative' as mnemonic devices in limited contexts, e.g. specific language families, but I don't like them when they are used as cross-linguistic standards. I don't find rigid use of terms all that useful. The variation is too great in most cases, especially when looked at more carefully.

-- Dan

On Jul 16, 2012, at 3:44 PM, Michel LAUNEY wrote:

> Hi,
> "Applicative" seems to me, definitely, the best term.
> To my knowledge, it was first coined in 1595 by Antonio del Rincon, 
> who in his "Arte Mexicana" had "discovered" this phenomenon in 
> Nahuatl. There is a long tradition of use of this term in grammars of 
> Nahuatl and other Middle American languages.
> In the Bantu linguistic tradition, it is also used, but more often you 
> will find "prepositional form of the verb" (which is strange, because 
> precisely the added argument NP occurs with no preposition).
> I find in a Georgian grammar (Tschenkeli "Einf├╝hrung in die georgische 
> Sprache") "Objektive Version", which seems to me also unsatisfactory.
> Best
> Michel Launey
> On Mon, 16 Jul 2012 07:54:10 +0100
>  Lachlan Mackenzie <lachlan_mackenzie at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi, John,
>> To me it seems like 'applicative' might be the word you're looking 
>> for. One applicative form can cover various meanings, in the way you 
>> describe for Bari -kindya.
>> Cf. David A. Peterson (2007). Applicative Constructions. OUP.
>> Best wishes,
>> Lachlan Mackenzie
>>> To: funknet at mailman.rice.edu> Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2012 08:40:26 +0300
>>> From: john at research.haifa.ac.il
>>> Subject: [FUNKNET] Terminology for verbal derivation
>>> Dear Funknetters, 
>>> I'm looking for a term to use to refer to a form
>>> for deriving verbs in Bari (-kindya) which seems to 
>>> generally add an
>>> argument to the verb, but the argument can be any one of a variety 
>>> of
>>> types--it can be 
>>> an indirect object, a directional particle, just
>>> about anything it seems (for example, when added to the 
>>> root meaning
>>> 'old age', it can take as an argument a place, with the meaning 'to 
>>> live
>>> to an old age while 
>>> living continuously at that place', or a
>>> nominalized form of a verb referring to an occupation, with the
>>> meaning 'to live to an old age while continuing to work at that
>>> occupation'). Do you have any ideas what 
>>> term I might use to refer to
>>> this form of the verb? I was initially going to call it the
>>> 'Benefactive' because 
>>> it's often used to add an indirect object (e.g.
>>> 'close a door for someone') but when I looked at all of the 
>>> usages of
>>> this form it became clear that this is really a pretty small 
>>> minority of
>>> its uses. 
>>> Any ideas? 
>>> Thanks, 
>>> John 

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