[Lingtyp] query: 'give' and 'do'/'make'

Siva Kalyan sivakalyan.princeton at gmail.com
Mon Feb 16 07:31:12 UTC 2015


Japanese yaru comes to mind: http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/je2/76657/m1u/やる/.

Siva

> On 16 Feb 2015, at 5:14 pm, David Gil <gil at eva.mpg.de> wrote:
> 
> Dear all,
> 
> Does anybody know of languages in which 'give' and 'do'/'make' are expressed with the same or related words?  Or of cases in which forms expressing one of these two meanings are historically derived from forms expressing the other meaning? 
> 
> Thanks,
> 
> David 
> 
> 
> Further details:  
> 
> My interest in this question stems from current field work on Roon (South Halmahera West New Guinea, Austronesian).  In Roon there is a single form be expressing both 'give' and 'do'/'make'.  (In fact, the same form be is associated with a wide range of grammatical and semantic functions, most or all of which seem to be derivable diachronically and possibly also synchronically from either 'give' or 'do'/'make'.)  A cognate form be meaning both 'give' and 'do'/'make' is also present in closely related Biak and Dusner.
> 
> Identical words for 'give' and 'do'/'make' (but unrelated to be) also occur in at least two nearby non-Austronesian languages, Meyah     and Hatam, and in the geographically proximate Austronesian language Wooi.  However, I have not yet been able to find any other examples of 'give'-'do'/'make' identity in other languages of the region, Austronesian or otherwise.  Thus, 'give'-'do'/'make' identity seems to be an areal characteristic of a small region of the eastern Bird's Head and western Cenderawasih Bay, in which it presumably spread from the original non-Austronesian to the intrusive Austronesian languages, through metatypy, relexification, or some such process.
> 
> In order to gauge the significance of 'give'-'do'/'make' identity as a diagnostic feature of language contact, I am thus interested in getting a feel for how widespread this feature is across the world's languages.  For what it's worth, I can't think of any examples from other parts of the world — can you?
> 
> I am also interested in any ideas you might have about what the semantic basis of the connection between 'give' and 'do'/'make', and possible mechanisms of semantic generalization.  In the Roon/Biak/Dusner case, at least, the form be is clearly cognate with the proto-Malayo-Polynesian word for 'give', suggesting that the direction of semantic  spread was from 'give' to 'do'/'make'.  But I have no information on the other known cases (Meyah, Hatam, Wooi).
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> David Gil
> 
> Department of Linguistics
> Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
> Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
> 
> Telephone: 49-341-3550321 Fax: 49-341-3550333
> Email: gil at eva.mpg.de <mailto:gil at eva.mpg.de>
> Webpage:  http://www.eva.mpg.de/~gil/ <http://www.eva.mpg.de/%7Egil/>
> 
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