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

Marcel Erdal merdal4 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 18 07:16:52 UTC 2015


How about Modern Hebrew 
Ten li liftor et ha-baaya
 'Let me solve the problem',
lit. ' Give me to-solve ACC the-problem'
and Russian davaj 'come on', lit. Give!'?
Marcel

Sent from my iPhone

On 18.02.2015, at 05:11, David Gil <gil at eva.mpg.de> wrote:

> Thanks to Suzanne Kemmer and Foong Ha Yap for pointing out the 'give'-causative connection.  Not exactly 'give'-'make' identity, but since 'make' also often grammaticalizes as a causative, the two words can often end up in "the same place", as it were.  In fact, this can even happen within the same language, as in eastern dialects of Malay, where 'kasi' ("give") and 'bikin' ("do"/"make") are both used to form periphrastic causatives — see for example the recent PhD dissertation by Betty Littamahuputty on Ternate Malay.
> 
> Thanks also to Ludwig Paul for providing the first robust case of 'give'-'do'/'make' identity from a contemporary language from outside the Mekong-Mamberamo (Southeast Asia to New Guinea) region, namely East Iranian Pashto.
> 
> Which brings me to a little puzzle, namely that a high proportion of examples that have been offered so far for 'give'-'do'/'make' identity come from extinct literary languages:  Classical Chinese, Old and Middle Persian, and Early Middle English — I wonder whether this is a coincidence.
> 
> 
> On 17/02/2015 20:25, Suzanne Kemmer wrote:
>> Words meaning ‘give’ can be a lexical source for causative auxiliary or verb, e.g. Luo miyo  (so that, for example,  I make it fall would be literally it I-give-it it-fall )--Sorry I don’t have a real example to hand. I believe cognates of miyo ‘give’ are also used as causative verb in other Nilo-Saharan languages. 
>> 
>> This is not exactly what you’re looking for because in Luo the word doesn’t mean ‘make’ in the sense of 'create’. Analytic causatives are not often based on words meaning ‘make’ ; English is kind of exceptional in that regard. 
>> 
>> Still I think the connection between ‘give’ and causative constructions is worth keeping in mind, since conceptual connections attested in grammaticalization paths can also be borrowed/spread areally.  
>> 
>> References: the connection of ‘give’ with causative constructions is mentioned in Kemmer and Verhagen 1994, The grammar of causatives and the conceptual structure of events (Cognitive Linguistics 5).
>> Also Heine and Kuteva 2002,  World Lexicon of Grammaticalization,  list  ‘give’ —> causative marker as a recurrent grammaticalization path with examples from (as I recall) Southeast Asia.
>> 
>> Suzanne
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> On Feb 17, 2015, at 10:58 PM, David Gil <gil at eva.mpg.de> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Dear all,
>>> 
>>> Thanks to all of you who responded to my query (reproduced below), either personally to me or to the LINGTYP list.
>>> 
>>> Many of the examples came, rather surprisingly to me, from familiar languages, such as the English "Do me a hamburger" (meaning "Give me a hamburger") and "Give a sigh" (meaning "Make a sigh") (the latter from a personal message from John Haiman).  
>>> 
>>> While these examples suggest that the 'give'-'do'/'make' connection is indeed cognitively "natural",  they would appear to differ from the cases I'm working on.  Specifically, whereas in English and other such languages, the primary way of saying 'give' and 'do'/'make' is by means of different words that would be listed as distinct lexical items in any dictionary, in languages such as Roon, Meyah, etc., there are no distinct words for 'give' and 'do'/'make' (at least not in the everyday lexicon), hence dictionaries of these languages would list 'give' and 'do'/'make' as primary meanings for the same word.
>>> 
>>> Thus, on the basis of the English-like usages, I would now rephrase my query, and ask for languages in which the same or related form has both 'give' and 'do'/'make' as BASIC meanings, of the kind that would be listed in a dictionary.  From the responses that I have received so far, my impression (but please let me know if I've misinterpreted anything) is that the following languages fit the bill:  Classical Chinese (thanks to Randy LaPolla and Giorgio Arcodia), the Angan ("Papuan") language Menya (thanks to Carl Whitehead) and two Timor-Alor-Pantar ("Papuan") languages, Makalero and Makasae (thanks to Juliette Huber).  But more examples would be greatly appreciated!
>>> 
>>> In particular, I find the Chinese-Papuan connection tantalizing, as I have just completed a long paper arguing for a Mekong-Mamberamo linguistic area extending from Southeast Asia to Western New Guinea.  But I would need much more data in order to see if there is any connection between 'give'-'do'/'make' identity and the Mekong-Mamberamo area.  (Of course, such a connection would be a very weak one at best, given the predominance of languages without 'give'-'do'/'make' identity even within the area in question).
>>> 
>>> Again, many thanks, and I look forward to more data!
>>> 
>>> David
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On 16/02/2015 15:14, David Gil 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
>>>> Webpage:  http://www.eva.mpg.de/~gil/
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> -- 
>>> 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
>>> Webpage:  http://www.eva.mpg.de/~gil/
>>> 
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Lingtyp mailing list
>>> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
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>> 
> 
> -- 
> 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
> Webpage:  http://www.eva.mpg.de/~gil/
> 
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