[Lingtyp] Antw: Query on sentential names/Satznamen

Johannes Helmbrecht Johannes.Helmbrecht at sprachlit.uni-regensburg.de
Fri Jun 21 03:19:26 EDT 2019

 Dear Iker,

clausal names are rather the norm than the exception in Hoocank (Siouan) and I
think this hold for the entire Siouan language family too. They are usually
traditional names that belong to the name repertoire of a clan. The appellative
meaning is always transparent and is connected to the mythology of the clans.
The linguistic particularity is that they are almost indistinguishable from
regular clauses. I'll give you an example:

peec taa'ehiga 
peec taa'e=Ø-Ø-hi=ga
fire   blaze.up=3SG.U-3SG.A-cause=proper name
'He blazes up a fire' (this is a traditional name of the bird clan)

This personal name is a fully inflected clause including a regular causative
construction. The only element that marks this expression as a name is the
proper name marker =ga at the end of the clause. Historically, this proper name
marker is a demonstrative pronoun (distal deixis). It is, however, used only in
referential function, never in address function. The interesting question would
be, how these clausal names are used syntactically. In Hoocank, it seems, they
appear in the same slots where actor and undergoer NPs occur, but, in fact,
they are rarely used as clausal arguments in our text corpus. Usually, the
bearer of the name is introduced by a kind of copula clause, and is then
referred to later on in discourse by other means.


Professor Dr. Johannes Helmbrecht
Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft
Institut für Information und Medien, Sprache und Kultur (IIMSK)
Universität Regensburg
Universitätsstrasse 31
D-93053 Regensburg, Deutschland

Tel. 0941/943-3388
Tel. 0941/943-3387 (Sekretariat)
Fax. 0941/943-2429
johannes.helmbrecht at ur.de

> 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.
> References:
> 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
> Tsunoda, Tasaku. 2011. *A grammar of Warrongo*. Berlin/Boston: Mouton de
> Gruyter.
> Wiedenhof, Jeroen. 2015. *A grammar of Mandarin*. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
> John Benjamins.
> Best,
> Iker Salaberri
> Public University of Navarre

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