[Lingtyp] query: 'give' and 'do'/'make'

Juliette Huber schuelietet at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 17 08:56:51 UTC 2015

Hi David,
there is an example of 'give'-'do/make' identity in the (wider) region:
In Makalero, a language of the Timor-Alor-Pantar family spoken on Timor, 'give' and 'do/make' are both expressed by the root -ini. 
In the meaning of 'give', this root is combined with an element m- plus a personal pronoun referring to the recipient, e.g.
m-ani-ini (m-1sg-give)  -˃  maninim-ei-ini (m-2sg-give)  -˃  meini
The m- element is most likely a reduced form of the verb mei 'take', which is used to introduce additional arguments such instruments. This is a simplified version; for more information see my dissertation on Makalero (http://www.lotpublications.nl/a-grammar-of-makalero-a-grammar-of-makalero-a-papuan-language-of-east-timor) and Klamer & Schapper's 2012 article on give constructions in TAP languages).In the meaning of 'do/make', -ini does not take the m-prefix.
Makasae, a very closely related language, uses the form gini for both meanings. The g- prefix is a fossilised 3rd person object marker.
To my knowledge, there are separate lexemes for 'give' and 'do' in the other TAP languages of Timor, Bunaq and Fataluku; for the Alor-Pantar languages, all I can say at the moment is that I've checked Klamer's Teiwa grammar and found separate lexemes.

From: David Gil <gil at eva.mpg.de>
 Sent: Monday, February 16, 2015 7:14 AM
 Subject: [Lingtyp] query: 'give' and 'do'/'make'
  Dear all,
 Does anybody know of languages in which 'give' and 'do'/'make' are expressed with the same or related words?  Or of cases in which forms expressing one of these two meanings are historically derived from forms expressing the other meaning? 
 Further details:  
 My interest in this question stems from current field work on Roon (South Halmahera West New Guinea, Austronesian).  In Roon there is a single form be expressing both 'give' and 'do'/'make'.  (In fact, the same form be is associated with a wide range of grammatical and semantic functions, most or all of which seem to be derivable diachronically and possibly also synchronically from either 'give' or 'do'/'make'.)  A cognate form be meaning both 'give' and 'do'/'make' is also present in closely related Biak and Dusner.
 Identical words for 'give' and 'do'/'make' (but unrelated to be) also occur in at least two nearby non-Austronesian languages, Meyah and Hatam, and in the geographically proximate Austronesian language Wooi.  However, I have not yet been able to find any other examples of 'give'-'do'/'make' identity in other languages of the region, Austronesian or otherwise.  Thus, 'give'-'do'/'make' identity seems to be an areal characteristic of a small region of the eastern Bird's Head and western Cenderawasih Bay, in which it presumably spread from the original non-Austronesian to the intrusive Austronesian languages, through metatypy, relexification, or some such process.
 In order to gauge the significance of 'give'-'do'/'make' identity as a diagnostic feature of language contact, I am thus interested in getting a feel for how widespread this feature is across the world's languages.  For what it's worth, I can't think of any examples from other parts of the world — can you?
 I am also interested in any ideas you might have about what the semantic basis of the connection between 'give' and 'do'/'make', and possible mechanisms of semantic generalization.  In the Roon/Biak/Dusner case, at least, the form be is clearly cognate with the proto-Malayo-Polynesian word for 'give', suggesting that the direction of semantic  spread was from 'give' to 'do'/'make'.  But I have no information on the other known cases (Meyah, Hatam, Wooi).
David Gil

Department of Linguistics
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany

Telephone: 49-341-3550321 Fax: 49-341-3550333
Email: gil at eva.mpg.de
Webpage:  http://www.eva.mpg.de/~gil/

Lingtyp mailing list
Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20150217/c4835245/attachment.htm>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list