deontic "will"

Volker Gast gast at ZEDAT.FU-BERLIN.DE
Wed Aug 8 07:20:29 UTC 2001

Dear Enrique

I am sorry to correct your correction, but I think your correction is
not quite correct. First of all, I did not speak of 'Mexican Spanish', but
of a substandard variety of Mexican Spanish spoken in Chiapas (which
happens to be my wife's dialect). Secondly, In the example I provided
(repeated here in (1)), 'lavado' is in fact a past participle, and not, as
you claim, a deverbal noun. This can clearly be seen from the fact that it
agrees in gender with the subject. Compare (1) and (2):

(1) Este carro quiere lavado.
(2) Esta casa quiere pintada.

Furthermore, there is no verbal noun 'lavado' in Mexican Spanish. The
nomen actionis corresponding to the verb 'lavar' would be the feminine
'lavada', so you yould say (3), but not (4).

(3) Este carro quiere una lavada. "This car needs a washing."
(4) *Este carro quiere un lavado.

Maybe your (Querétaro?) intuitions differ from my wife's Chiapanec ones,
but I could hardly believe that (4) is good Spanish for. Or is it?

Best regards


On Tue, 7 Aug 2001, Enrique L. Palancar Vizcaya wrote:

> Dear all,
> This is a slight correction to Volker Gast's mail on Mexican Spanish 
> concerning the "will" discussion:
> >A sub-standard variety of Mexican Spanish spoken in Southern Mexico
> >(Chiapas) has exactly the same construction:
> >(1) Este carro quiere lavado. "This car has to be washed."
> >(2) Quiere que vayas tu mismo. "You have to go yourself."
> The translation of (1) "to be washed" may lead to believe that "lavado" is a 
> past participle. It is a verbal-noun translatable as "(a)washing". As for 
> the deontic nuance from (2) I'm not able to say anything at the moment, but 
> I'd love  to see in context so to understand its behavior.
> Inspiration,
> Enrique Palancar
> >In all likeliness, this construction is copied either from Tzotzil
> >(Mayan) or from Zoque (Mixe-Zoque), both of which regularly use
> >the verb "k'an" (to want, love) to express deontic modality:
> >
> >Tzotzil:
> >(3) Sk'an ti cha'abteje ('You have to work', lit. 'It wants that you
> >work')
> >(4) Sk'an jtijtik ti jbintike. ('We have to beat our drums', lit. 'It
> >wants we beat our pots')
> >
> >As far as I know, Tzotzil also has the construction "k'an + passive
> >participle" (like in your Sardinian example "La casa vuole pagata"), but I
> >would have to look at my corpus in order to find some examples.
> >
> >Zoque:
> >
> >(5) Shunba wa'y mangu tyu'nisu. ('He has to go and see her', lit.'It wants
> >that go(aux) he sees her')
> >(from Harrison et al. (1981: 156), Diccionario Zoque de Copainalá, ILV.)
> >
> >
> >__________________
> >Volker Gast
> >FU Berlin
> >Institut für Englische Philologie
> >Goßlerstraße 2-4
> >14195 Berlin
> >
> >Tel.: 030/838 72314
> _________________________________________________________________
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Volker Gast
FU Berlin
Institut für Englische Philologie
Goßlerstraße 2-4
14195 Berlin

Tel.: 030/838 72314

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