[Lingtyp] Query on sentential names/Satznamen

Anstey, Matthew MAnstey at csu.edu.au
Thu Jun 20 07:21:35 EDT 2019

Dear Iker

Not just ending in -el either for Biblical Hebrew, also starting with el-:
Eliab <el-i-ab> [God-1SG-father] ‘God is my father’
Elizabeth from Elisheva <el-i-sheva> [God-1SG-oath] ‘God is my oath’
Elijah <el-i-jah> [God-1SG-YHWH] ‘YHWH is my God’

There are also lots of SNs without God in them:
Abimelech <ab-i-melech> [father-1SG-king] ‘My father is king’ (or it might be ‘father of a king’)
Ahikam <ah-i-kam> [brother-1SG-arise.PST.3MSG] ‘my brother has risen’

There are lots which are SNs but we don’t really know the precise meaning of them:
Zapnath-Paaneah which might mean ‘the man to whom mysteries are revealed’ or rather ‘the god speaks and lives’ if Egyptian in origin.
Maher-shalal-hash-baz which means something like ‘He has hurried to the plunder’

You would also want to check out other Semitic languages, as most (perhaps all?) have SNs like this. Eg Akkadian: Nabu-kudurri-usur ‘O God Nabu, preserve my firstborn son’

Here are some references:
Leyew, Z. 2003 Amharic personal nomenclature: A grammar and sociolinguistic insight. Journal of African Cultural Studies 16(2):181-211
Rahkonen, P. 2019 Personal names of the Pentateuch in the Northwest Semitic Context: A Comparative Study. Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament (SJOT) 33
Knudsen, EE. 2008 Amorite names and Old Testament onomastics. SJOT 13

And an Omotic language:
Genre, Y 2010 Cultural contact and change in naming practices among the Atari of Southwest Ethiopia. Journal of African Cultural Studies. 22 183-194.

Not sure if this interests you, but there is a tonne of research in psychology on names and identity. Eg:
Kim, J. & K. Lee 2011 “What’s your name?”: Names, naming practices and contextualised selves of young Korean American children. Journal of Research in Childhood Education 25(3), 211-227.

The Rev’d Assoc Prof Matthew Anstey
Director of Higher Degree Research, Alphacrucis College
Research Fellow (Public and Contextual Theology Strategic Research Centre), Charles Sturt University
Visiting Research Fellow (Linguistics), University of Adelaide
Honorary Research Associate Professor (School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry), University of Queensland
From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of David Gil <gil at shh.mpg.de>
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2019 7:51 pm
To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Query on sentential names/Satznamen

Dear Iker,

Hebrew is a source for numerous examples of this, many of which are familiar around the world, though their etymologies may not be. If you can think of a name that ends with "-el" or "-iah", chances are it's a SN in which the "-el" or "-iah" bit refers to God.  For example

Daniel < dan-i-el [judge.PAST.3SGM-1SG.OBJ-God] 'God judged me'

I suspect that you may wish to broaden the definition of SN to include also clause-like cases involving a "zero" copula, such as

Michael < mi-xa-el [who-like-God] 'Who is like God'

Also, since Hebrew has pronominal marking on the verb, you might wish also to include forms such as

Isaac < yiṣħak [3SGM.FUT.laugh] 'He will laugh'.

I'll stop here, as I assume that there is a large literature on this subject.

(Note: for convenience sake, I've provided the transcriptions and glosses as per Modern Hebrew, though since these names are Biblical, they should really be represented in Biblical Hebrew.)



On 20/06/2019 19:52, Iker Salaberri wrote:
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

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-- David GilDepartment of Linguistic and Cultural EvolutionMax Planck Institute for the Science of Human HistoryKahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, GermanyEmail: gil at shh.mpg.de<mailto:gil at shh.mpg.de>Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81281162816

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