German MIT

Anna Filippova anna.serg.filippova at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 17 12:41:41 UTC 2009


True, of course, "v ego lice" is better and much more common. My bad.

Anna



On Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 1:37 PM, Marina Chumakina <
M.Tchoumakina at surrey.ac.uk> wrote:

>  I would say Russian  “v nem my poterjali...” (in him we lost) is
> extremely rare, much more frequent is highly idiomatic “v ego lice my
> poterjali” (in his face we lost...)
>
> If Google is anything to go by:
>
> в нем мы потеряли (v nem my poterjali...) – 6 times
>
> в его лице мы потеряли (v ego lice my poterjali...)  – 16,600 times.
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* Discussion List for ALT [mailto:LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG]
> *On Behalf Of *Wolfgang Schulze
> *Sent:* Thursday, December 17, 2009 8:01 AM
> *To:* LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG
> *Subject:* German MIT
>
>
>
> Dear friends,
> during a lecture on German syntax, we came across the following problem:
> German makes use of a topic (?) construction that goes this way:
>
> *Mit ihm **haben wir ein-en Freund verloren.
> *with  he:DAT have:PRES:1PL we INDEF-MASC:ACC friend lose:PPP
>
> I have difficulties to translate this into good English (my fault, sorry!):
> The meaning of the *mit-*NP is not instrumental or comitative, but
> 'identifying' or 'explicative' ('in terms of', or so), that is (here:) the
> anaphor is correferential with *Freund *(a paraphrase would perhaps be:
> 'We have lost him in terms of ~ being ~ as a friend').  This pattern also
> works with names or (less obvious) with ordinary nouns, such as:
>
> *Mit Eva** haben wir eine Freundin verloren.
> *'We have lost Eva in terms of a friend' (or so).
>
> *Mit der Feldforschung **ist der erste Schritt gemacht.
> *'The first step has been taken in terms of fieldfwork' (or so).
>
> This construction seems to be dependent from placing the* mit-*NP into the
> preverbal topic field, compare:
>
> *Mit Paul **verließ uns ein Freund.
> *Paul left us in terms of a friend (or so)'.
>
> But (comitative reading):
>
> *Ein Freund verließ uns mit Paul
> *A friend left us (together) with Paul.'
>
> Interestingly enough, the *mit-*construction at issue shows an ergative
> distribution (S=O;A): As a far as I can see, we can use this 'identifying'
> strategy with NPs in S or O function only, but not in A function, compare:
>
> *Mit ihr  starb* [*eine gute Freundin*]:*S*
> She died being a good friend (or so).
> *
> Mit ihr verlor ich* [*eine gute Freund*]:*O*
> I have lost a good friend in terms of her (or so).'
>
> But not:
>
> **Mit ihm verlor* [*der Mann*]:*A* *seine Ehre*.
>  with he:DAT lose:PAST:3SG DEF:MASC:NOM Mann his-FEM:ACC honor
>
> My question now is whether some of you know about analogous constructions
> in other languages, and, if yes, which strategies are applied (including a
> possible constraint regarding accusativity/ergativity) . In German, the
> pattern seems to based on the extreme polysemy of the preposition *mit*,
> covering (among many others) a true instrumental, a comitative, and some
> kind of 'equipment' function. This equipment function (that is a
> comitative-like function used with non-animates) seems to be a possible
> candidate for the development of the  above-mentioned 'explicative' pattern,
> even though it strongly favors animate NPs. I also have the impression that
> the referent in the *mit*-NP stands in a meronymic relation with the
> 'correferential' expression in the second NP, but I'm not fully sure about
> that.
>
> Finally, I would be happy if you know of a better and more precise term for
> the function at issue.
>
> Many thanks in advance for sharing with me your expertise and best wishes,
> Wolfgang
>
>  --
>
> *Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulze    *
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------
>
> *Primary contact:
>
>   *
>
> Institut für Allgemeine & Typologische Sprachwissenschaft
>
> Dept. II / F 13
>
>
>
> Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
>
>
> Ludwigstraße 25
>
>
> Postanschrift / Postal address: Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
>
> D-80539 München
>
>
>
> Tel.: 0049-(0)89-2180-2486
> (Secretary)
>
>          0049-(0)89-2180-5343
> (Office)
>
> Fax:  0049-(0)89-2180-16567 //
> 0049-(0)89-2180-5345
>
>
> Email: W.Schulze at lrz.uni-muenchen.de /// Wolfgang.Schulze at lmu.de
>
>
> Web:
> http://www.ats.uni-muenchen.de/personen/professoren/schulze/index.html
>
> http://www.wolfgangschulze.in-devir.com
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------
>
> *Second
> contact:
>   *
>
> Katedra Germanistiký
>
>
>
> Fakulta humanitných
> vied
>
>
> Univerzita Mateja Béla / Banská Bystrica
>
>
> Tajovského
> 40
>
>
> SK-97401 Banská
> Bystrica
>
>
> Tel:
> (00421)-(0)48-4465108
>
>
> Fax: (00421)-(0)48-4465512
>
>
> Email: Schulze at fhv.umb.sk
>
>
> Web: http://www.fhv.umb.sk/app/user.php?user=schulze
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>
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