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

David Gil gil at eva.mpg.de
Wed Feb 18 04:11:21 UTC 2015

Thanks to Suzanne Kemmer and Foong Ha Yap for pointing out the 
'give'-causative connection.  Not exactly 'give'-'make' identity, but 
since 'make' also often grammaticalizes as a causative, the two words 
can often end up in "the same place", as it were.  In fact, this can 
even happen within the same language, as in eastern dialects of Malay, 
where 'kasi' ("give") and 'bikin' ("do"/"make") are both used to form 
periphrastic causatives — see for example the recent PhD dissertation by 
Betty Littamahuputty on Ternate Malay.

Thanks also to Ludwig Paul for providing the first robust case of 
'give'-'do'/'make' identity from a contemporary language from outside 
the Mekong-Mamberamo (Southeast Asia to New Guinea) region, namely East 
Iranian Pashto.

Which brings me to a little puzzle, namely that a high proportion of 
examples that have been offered so far for 'give'-'do'/'make' identity 
come from extinct literary languages:  Classical Chinese, Old and Middle 
Persian, and Early Middle English — I wonder whether this is a coincidence.

On 17/02/2015 20:25, Suzanne Kemmer wrote:
> Words meaning ‘give’ can be a lexical source for causative auxiliary 
> or verb, e.g. Luo miyo  (so that, for example,  I make it fall would 
> be literally it I-give-it it-fall )--Sorry I don’t have a real example 
> to hand. I believe cognates of miyo ‘give’ are also used as causative 
> verb in other Nilo-Saharan languages.
> This is not exactly what you’re looking for because in Luo the word 
> doesn’t mean ‘make’ in the sense of 'create’. Analytic causatives are 
> not often based on words meaning ‘make’ ; English is kind of 
> exceptional in that regard.
> Still I think the connection between ‘give’ and causative 
> constructions is worth keeping in mind, since conceptual connections 
> attested in grammaticalization paths can also be borrowed/spread areally.
> References: the connection of ‘give’ with causative constructions is 
> mentioned in Kemmer and Verhagen 1994, The grammar of causatives and 
> the conceptual structure of events (Cognitive Linguistics 5).
> Also Heine and Kuteva 2002,  World Lexicon of Grammaticalization, 
>  list  ‘give’ —> causative marker as a recurrent grammaticalization 
> path with examples from (as I recall) Southeast Asia.
> Suzanne
>> On Feb 17, 2015, at 10:58 PM, David Gil <gil at eva.mpg.de 
>> <mailto:gil at eva.mpg.de>> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> Thanks to all of you who responded to my query (reproduced below), 
>> either personally to me or to the LINGTYP list.
>> Many of the examples came, rather surprisingly to me, from familiar 
>> languages, such as the English "Do me a hamburger" (meaning "Give me 
>> a hamburger") and "Give a sigh" (meaning "Make a sigh") (the latter 
>> from a personal message from John Haiman).
>> While these examples suggest that the 'give'-'do'/'make' connection 
>> is indeed cognitively "natural",  they would appear to differ from 
>> the cases I'm working on.  Specifically, whereas in English and other 
>> such languages, the primary way of saying 'give' and 'do'/'make' is 
>> by means of different words that would be listed as distinct lexical 
>> items in any dictionary, in languages such as Roon, Meyah, etc., 
>> there are no distinct words for 'give' and 'do'/'make' (at least not 
>> in the everyday lexicon), hence dictionaries of these languages would 
>> list 'give' and 'do'/'make' as primary meanings for the same word.
>> Thus, on the basis of the English-like usages, I would now rephrase 
>> my query, and ask for languages in which the same or related form has 
>> both 'give' and 'do'/'make' as BASIC meanings, of the kind that would 
>> be listed in a dictionary.  From the responses that I have received 
>> so far, my impression (but please let me know if I've misinterpreted 
>> anything) is that the following languages fit the bill:  Classical 
>> Chinese (thanks to Randy LaPolla and Giorgio Arcodia), the Angan 
>> ("Papuan") language Menya (thanks to Carl Whitehead) and two 
>> Timor-Alor-Pantar ("Papuan") languages, Makalero and Makasae (thanks 
>> to Juliette Huber).  But more examples would be greatly appreciated!
>> In particular, I find the Chinese-Papuan connection tantalizing, as I 
>> have just completed a long paper arguing for a Mekong-Mamberamo 
>> linguistic area extending from Southeast Asia to Western New Guinea. 
>> But I would need much more data in order to see if there is any 
>> connection between 'give'-'do'/'make' identity and the 
>> Mekong-Mamberamo area.  (Of course, such a connection would be a very 
>> weak one at best, given the predominance of languages without 
>> 'give'-'do'/'make' identity even within the area in question).
>> Again, many thanks, and I look forward to more data!
>> David
>> 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?
>>> Thanks,
>>> David
>>> 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/
>> -- 
>> 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 
>> <mailto:Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
>> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp

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/

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20150218/f127b555/attachment.htm>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list