'Hear'/'understand' in lexical databases

jess tauber phonosemantics at EARTHLINK.NET
Wed Feb 3 07:27:47 UTC 2010

I wonder what relation the Mapudungan form has to Yahgan alagvna (v schwa), meaning 'see, understand, know', which I believe to be cut from the same cloth as Proto-Salishan *hlaq' 'instruction, knowledge'.
The Yahgan form, used as a verb prefix, means 'be a bystander/witness while...', but as verb suffix it means 'try, attempt, test'.

I already wrote the following to the author of the original query:

>Yahgan uses teki 'see' and mvra (v schwa) 'hear' for a variety of similar purposes. They are still used as verbs, and also to introduce following quotes and observations. teki in addition has a more abstract use as 'see (that), understand (that)'. mush is used as evidential in the TAM complex after the verb, but also has modal-like use in clitic chains after the first term of the clause meaning 'must (be)'.

It might be argued that 'understand' would be compatible with this latter sense.<

Jess Tauber

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