borrowed verbs

Pilar Maritza Valenzuela pvalenzu at DARKWING.UOREGON.EDU
Tue Jan 7 19:18:05 UTC 2003

Dear Edith Moravcsik and Andrej Malchukov,

In Shipibo-Konibo the morpheme -n may attach to a noun, a positional
root, or an intransitive verb, in order to yield a transitive verb:

rao 'plant medicine' > rao-n- 'treat s.o. with plant medicine'
rika 'net' > rika-n- 'fish with net'
joi 'word' > joi-n- 'criticize'

raka- 'lying position' > raka-n- 'lay' vs. raka-t- 'lie'
yasa-n- 'seat s.o./' vs. yaka-t- 'sit'

oxa- 'sleep' > oxa-n- 'put a child to sleep'
pani- 'hang (intr.) > pani-n- 'hang (tr.)'

The only counter-example I have found, where addition of -n yields an
intransitive verb involves an adjectival root:

pae 'sour, become sour, ferment' > pae-n- 'get drunk' (the subject is
marked absolutive)

Because of this association with transitivity, I discarded
the possibility that SK -n would be used as a general verbalizer.
However, I still need to think more about the "counter-example".

In SK adjectival and nominal roots may take verb morphology directly
but this results in inchoative verbs (see also "pae" above):

bake 'child'; bake- 'become a child, behave like a child'
joshin 'red, ripe'; joshin- 'become red, ripe'.

On the other hand, SK has two semantically highly generic verbs:  the
intransitive ik- 'be, do (intr.), say' and the transitive ak-
'make, do (tr.), tell'.  These attach to onomatopoeic roots to form
intransitive and transitive verbs:

jojo ik- 'bark'
jojo ak- 'bark at s.o./'

Ak- also combines with nouns, adjectives, and sometimes intransitive
verbs to yield transitive verbs.  There are instance in which a(k)- is
added to a non-verbal Spanish element in order to form a transitive

sonso ak- 'to be unfaithful to s.o.', from Spanish "sonso" 'stupid' +
listo ak- 'to get ready', from Spanish "listo" 'ready' + ak-

This last strategy is also found in the following Quechua loan:

kirika ak- 'to study, read' from "kirika" 'book' + ak-

My guess is that this would be the preferred denominal or verbalizing
mechanism for a transitive verb.  However, I cannot think of a Spanish
or Quechua example to which the intransitive ik- is added.

Unfortunately, I have only been able to find very few verbs borrowed
from Quechua into SK and Wariapano (a very closely related language)
in old wordlists compiled by missionaries.  Only some of these are
composed of the Quechua root + -n; a second group seem to follow the
root + ak- strategy, and yet a third group of Quechua verbs seem to
enter just as a bare root.  In turn, Spanish verbs seem to enter
Quechua in their third person singular form.  I need to work more on
this topic though.

Thanks to all for the input I am getting.

Pilar Valenzuela

> Could the Shipibo-Konibo -n- that, at Pilar Valenzuela reported,
> in borrowed verbs be a denominal verbalizer? What lends some
> to this suggestion is the following.
> A fairly consistent crosslinguistic pattern of verb borrowing is
> verbs are borrowed "as if they were nouns"; that is, the
> verb acquires a denominal verbalizer in the borrowing language
before it
> is inflected. This is so EVEN if the foreign verb is NOT used as a
noun in
> the source language.
> For example, Hungarian loan verbs generally include the derivational
> affix -l which otherwise derives verbs from indigenous nouns:
> loanverbs: leiszt-ol 'accomplish' (from German "leisten")
>            zabra-l 'steal'  (from Russian "zabrat'")
> denominal verbs: ebe'd-el 'dine'; from Hungarian "ebe'd" 'dinner'
>                  fu~lel 'listen hard'; from Hungarian "fu~l" 'ear')
> Another example is Russian:
> loanverbs: fix-ova-t' to fix' (from English "fix")
>            abstrahir-ova-t' 'to abstract' (from German
> denominal verb: nakaz-ova-t' 'to command' (from Russian "nakaz"
>   'command')
> Other languages follow the same pattern in spirit although not in
> instead of a derivational affix, they will use a light verb such as
> to accompany the borrowed verb, where this 'do' otherwise occurs
> nouns to form a compound verb. This is so in Japanese ("su ru") and
> ("hada"):
> Japanese: operate su ru - from English "operate"
> Korean: persuade hada - from English "persuade"
> Modern Greek has both devices:
>    kano drive "do drive" 'I drive' (from English "drive")
>    drive-erno 'I drive" (from English "drive")
> Some languages, such as French and German, are apparent examples: in
> languages, loan verbs can be "directly" inflected without an
> denominal verbalizer:
> French: dribbler 'to dribble' (from English "to dribble")
> German: managen 'to manage' (from English "to manage")
> However, these languages can "zero-derive" verbs from indigenous
> and thus their verb-borrowing pattern is still consistent with their
> denominal verbalizing pattern.
> (For some additional examples and discussion, see Edith Moravcsik:
> "Verb borrowing." _Wiener Linguistische Gazette_ 8, 1974, 3-30)
> Edith M.
> 			 Edith A. Moravcsik
> 			 Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics
> 			 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
> 		         Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413
>                          USA
> 			 E-mail: edith at
> 		         Telephone: (414) 229-6794 /office/
> 				    (414) 332-0141 /home/
> 		         Fax: (414) 229-2741

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