[Lingtyp] query: 'give' and 'do'/'make'
gil at eva.mpg.de
Wed Feb 18 03:52:21 UTC 2015
Greetings from Manokwari. If you can spare a few moments of your time
for a linguistic puzzle ...
I don't know whether you follow the LINGTYP list, but a couple of days
ago I posted a query on languages which have the same word for 'give'
and for 'do'/'take' (see below). So far I have received a handful of
positive responses, including one from Randy LaPolla who notes that
Classical Chinese had very similar words for "do" and for "benefactive"
(differing only in tone). So I am wondering whether you are familiar
with any contemporary Sinitic languages/dialects that have the same (or
similar) words for 'give' (or the benefactive) and for 'do'/'make'. If
you can't think of any, I would also be greatly appreciative of negative
data, ie. languages/dialects that have different words for these two
And while we're on the topic, I'd also be interested to know whether
'give' and 'do'/'make' are the same or different in Dera.
On 16/02/2015 15:14, David Gil wrote:
> 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
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
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