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

Randy John LaPolla (Prof) RandyLaPolla at ntu.edu.sg
Mon Feb 16 15:09:44 UTC 2015


Yes, as Seino says, in New York and possibly other places "do me a ..." Is a sort of fixed benefactive construction, e.g. Do me a haircut. In Classical Chinese there is a word (žé) with two tonal realizations, w¨¦i for 'to do' and w¨¨i for a benefactive sense. We would assume the latter is derived from the former.

Randy

Sent from my iPhone

On 16 Feb 2015, at 6:29 pm, Seino van Breugel <seinobreugel at gmail.com<mailto:seinobreugel at gmail.com>> wrote:

In some varieties of English people say things like: "do me a hamburger", where "do" means 'give/make'.
Seino

Dr. Seino van Breugel
Lecturer in Linguistics
Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand

On Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 2:31 PM, Siva Kalyan <sivakalyan.princeton at gmail.com<mailto:sivakalyan.princeton at gmail.com>> wrote:
Japanese yaru comes to mind: http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/leaf/je2/76657/m1u/¤ä¤ë/.

Siva

On 16 Feb 2015, at 5:14 pm, David Gil <gil at eva.mpg.de<mailto: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 ¡ª 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/>



_______________________________________________
Lingtyp mailing list
Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp


_______________________________________________
Lingtyp mailing list
Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp


_______________________________________________
Lingtyp mailing list
Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp
________________________________
CONFIDENTIALITY: This email is intended solely for the person(s) named and may be confidential and/or privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete it, notify us and do not copy, use, or disclose its contents.
Towards a sustainable earth: Print only when necessary. Thank you.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20150216/c78bad4b/attachment.html>


More information about the Lingtyp mailing list