[Lingtyp] Query on sentential names/Satznamen

Heath Jeffrey schweinehaxen at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 20 07:18:54 EDT 2019

The best phrasal name (actually a flora term) I have run into is "it has no name." The sentence with this literal meaning in Jamsay denotes a specific tree species (Stereospermum). Shades of Bertrand Russell and Magritte.

An issue for the African examples is that sometimes the phrase alludes to an event in the individual's history (e.g. birth circumstances such as coinciding with a major or minor event), and sometimes it's an impersonal proverb. If your name is "Too many cooks spoil the broth" (in practice likely abbreviated as "Too many cooks"), is that an admonition to the person so named, or to others?

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Guillaume Segerer <guillaume.segerer at cnrs.fr>
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2019 6:51 AM
To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Query on sentential names/Satznamen

Dear Iker,

There is a paper with numerous examples of SNs in Joola Banjal (Niger-Congo, Atlantic, Bak):

Serge Sagna and Emmanuel Bassène. 2016. 'Why are they named after death? Name giving, name changing and death prevention names in Gújjolaay Eegimaa (Banjal)'. In African language documentation: new data, methods and approaches, Special Publication No.10 of Language Documentation & Conservation, edited by Mandana Seyfeddinipur, pp. 40–70. http://hdl.handle.net/10125/24652<https://eur04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fhdl.handle.net%2F10125%2F24652&data=02%7C01%7C%7Ccbee7eabdcd64b155ffe08d6f56e9af1%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636966252751465169&sdata=jQGf6mHVCJ5xbw3y%2BTCckRzeH%2BFJbgEAQ17fU0tWl38%3D&reserved=0>

Joola languages in general tend to use SNs a lot, but as far as I know, there is no other reference about that in the literature.


Guillaume Segerer

Le 20/06/2019 à 11:52, Iker Salaberri a écrit :
Dear colleagues, dear fellow typologists,

I'm currently looking for cross-linguistic data on a specific kind of name: sentential names (SNs), a.k.a. clausal names, phrasal names and (in their widespread German use) Satznamen. van Langendonck (2007: 277-278) defines SNs as names consisting (minimally) of a verbal stem and a noun phrase (NP) or an adverb, where the NP is either the direct object or the subject of the verb stem. Here are some examples of SNs I have found so far:

(1) Shona (East Bantu): Chaitamwarihachirambwi 'What God has done cannot be rejected', from mwari 'God' and the verb root -it 'to do' (Mapara 2013: 103)

(2) Basque (Language isolate): Euridakargaina 'The summit which brings rain', from euri 'rain' and the verb root -kar 'to bring' (Salaberri 2008: 733)

(3) Warrongo (Pama-Nyungan): Galonggo balban banggarra '(The place where) mice rolled blue tongue lizard', from galo 'mouse' and balba 'to roll' (Tsunoda 2011: 22)

(4) Northwest Sahaptin (Sahaptian): Xátkapsha 'Leans unexpectedly', from tkap 'to lean' and xa- 'unexpectedly' (Hunn 1996: 14)

(5) Mandarin (Sino-Tibetan): Chuán-wén '(The one who) transmits culture', from chuán 'to transmit' and wén 'culture' (Wiedenhof 2015: 92) (sorry if the tone markers are inaccurate)

(6) Eastern Apurímac Quechua (Quechuan): Waqcha kuyaq '(The one who) esteems the poor', from waqcha 'poor' and kuya- 'to esteem' (Fonseca 2012: 98)

(7) German (Indo-European): Hassdenpflug 'Hate the plow', from hassen 'to hate' and Pflug 'plow/plough' (Heintze 1908: 160)

I'm writing to ask for your help in tracking down more instances of this kind of name: I have found so far that SNs are common in (subsaharan) Africa, North America and Europe, in decreasing order, and far less common in Asia, Oceania and South America. That is why I would be extremely grateful for any information on SNs in languages from Asia, Oceania and South America. I would be very grateful for any pointers to grammars, language descriptions or other mentions of SNs in the literature.

Fonseca, Gustavo S. 2012. Introducción a un tesoro de nombres quechuas en Apurímac. Lima: Terra Nuova.
Heintze, Albert. 1908. Die deutschen Familiennamen: Geschichtlich, geographisch, sprachlich (3rd edition). Halle an der Saale: Verlag der Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses.
Hunn, Eugene. 1996. Columbia Plateau Indian place names: What can they teach us? Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 6(1). 3-26.
Mapara, Jacob. 2013. Shona sentential names: A brief overview. Bamenda: Langaa Research & Publishing.
van Langendonck, Willy. 2007. Theory and typology of proper names. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Salaberri, Patxi. 2008. Satznamen direlakoen inguruan: Erlatibozko perpausetan jatorri duten toponimoak aztergai [On so-called Satznamen: Investigating toponyms which originate in relative clauses]. In Xabier Artiagoitia & Joseba A. Lakarra (eds.), Gramatika jaietan: Patxi Goenagaren omenez, 725-741. Bilbao/Bilbo: University of the Basque Country.
Tsunoda, Tasaku. 2011. A grammar of Warrongo. Berlin/Boston: Mouton de Gruyter.
Wiedenhof, Jeroen. 2015. A grammar of Mandarin. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.


Iker Salaberri
Public University of Navarre

Lingtyp mailing list
Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>

Guillaume Segerer
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20190620/51a0c485/attachment.html>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list