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

Randy John LaPolla (Prof) RandyLaPolla at ntu.edu.sg
Tue Feb 17 03:07:24 UTC 2015


In the New York case I think the development of a sense like 'give' (Do me a haircut = Give me a haircut) is simply an analogical extension of the use of the construction from benefactive cases involving real doing, e.g. Do me a solid, which can't be said as Give me a solid, to cases where we can otherwise use give.

Also, in some varieties of Southwest Mandarin there is a use of the word ba 'hold with hands' for 'give', which I think is also an analogical extension of the "disposal" construction (the famous BA construction) to uses involving giving.

Randy

Randy

Sent from my iPhone

On 17 Feb 2015, at 12:17 am, "giorgio.arcodia at unimib.it<mailto:giorgio.arcodia at unimib.it>" <giorgio.arcodia at unimib.it<mailto:giorgio.arcodia at unimib.it>> wrote:


The wéi 'to do' and wèi 'for' actually seem to be related by means of derivation, as suggested by prof. LaPolla. In Baxter & Sagart's 2014 reconstruction of Old Chinese, wéi is *gw(r)aj and wèi is *gw(r)aj-s, with the polyfunctional suffix *-s. In this context, its function could be that of deriving "verbs of outwardly directed action out of verbs of inwardly directed action or stative verbs".  Could it be 'do' > 'do for someone else'? Other pairs of the kind include 'buy' > 'sell' and 'receive' > 'give'.

See Baxter, W. & Sagart, L. (2014), Old Chinese: A New Reconstruction. Oxford: OUP.

Best,

Giorgio F. Arcodia

--
Dr. Giorgio Francesco Arcodia
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Dipartimento di Scienze Umane per la Formazione
Edificio U6 - stanza 4101
Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
20126 Milano

Tel.: (+39) 02 6448 4946(+39) 02 6448 4946
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E-mail: giorgio.arcodia at unimib.it<mailto:giorgio.arcodia at unimib.it>
On Mon, 16 Feb 2015 15:09:44 +0000
 "Randy John LaPolla (Prof)" <RandyLaPolla at ntu.edu.sg<mailto:RandyLaPolla at ntu.edu.sg>> wrote:
> 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 (?) with two tonal realizations, wéi for
>'to do' and wèi 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><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><mailto:sivakalyan.princeton at gmail.com>>
>wrote:
> 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<mailto: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 ? 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><mailto:gil at eva.mpg.de>
> Webpage:
> http://www.eva.mpg.de/~gil/<http://www.eva.mpg.de/%7Egil/>
>
>
>
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