[Lingtyp] fear + NEG

Mike Morgan mwmbombay at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 12:23:31 UTC 2015

Interesting, Anvita,

Yes, my "correction" to the transcription was just in case someone
quoted the example in a paper or something, and in any case...

I also did not mean that the construction was SEMANTICALLY passive
(whatever THAT means cross linguistically); rather that it is FORMALLY
passive (with all that that MIGHT mean, cross linguistically).

AND, finally as you say, the sentence with subjunctive is negative
while the sentence with future is not... Is it then perhaps then, as I
suggested, that the negative is not due to the construction which was
being asked about ("fear") alone, but rather due to an interplay
BETWEEN subjunctive and constructions?

I am not suggesting that this is the case (although I have run across
many such examples in my decades of off-on dealings in Hindi, I have
no "feel" for the Hindi construction); I am simply wondering....

curious one-time-Indologist


On 3/20/15, Anvita Abbi <anvitaabbi at gmail.com> wrote:
> Here is the grammatical information with phonetic transcription to clear
> the air. Semantically the two sentences are equal. I don't think that (1)
> is passive.
> 1.    *mujh-e           **ɖǝr         h**ɛ           ki             vo
>           a             na           ja-ye*
> 1sg-dat          fear        aux         comp      3sg         come
>  neg
> go-subjunctive
> ‘I am afraid lest he come’ OR ‘I am afraid he might come’
> Sentence 1 is equivalent to sentence 2 with non-negative and future tense.
> 2.       *mujh-e                 **ɖǝr         h**ɛ
> ki             vo           a             ja-yega*
> 1sg-dat                 fear        aux         comp      3sg         come
> go-fut.3msg
> ‘I afraid that he will come’
> Anvita
> Prof. Anvita Abbi

> On Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 5:03 AM, Mike Morgan <mwmbombay at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Also a clarification on Anvita's glossing
>> On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 3:16 AM, Anvita Abbi <anvitaabbi at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> *mujhe       Dar     hai       ki           vo         aa       na
>>> jaye*
>>> 1sg.Dat     fear     AUX    COMP   3sg       come  NEG  come
>>> Literal: 'I am afraid that he does not come'
>> *aa* of course IS 'come' but *jaaye* (not *jaye*, n'est pas?) is
>> literally 'go'. And also, sicne Anvita does not label grammatical forms
>> of
>> verbs, *aa* is a nonfinite verb stem while *jaye* is subjunctive (or
>> optative of you prefer). BUT more importantly perhaps the construction
>> *aa
>> jaye* is a PASSIVE.
>> Like other commenters I would not pretend to offer any native speaker
>> insights *and in fact, my best Indic language, Nepali, has a very
>> different, purely synthetic, passive). BUT as a speaker of Japanese as
>> well, I am wondering also whether the passive here might complicate
>> things,
>> especially in such cases as this where we are obviously NOT dealing with
>> a
>> canonical passive (*aa* is an intransitive). What I was wondering is
>> whether in Hindi there might be any of the "acted upon negatively"
>> nuances
>> found w2ith the Japanese passive (e.g. 雨に降られた。 *ame ni furareta* 'I was
>> rained upon'), in which the negative semantics MIGHT also be interacting
>> with the grammatical negative? (not saying this DOES happen, just that it
>> must be considered as a possibility)
>> Of course, an example with an active form of the verb would quickly set
>> us
>> all straight on this ;-)
>> mwm || *U*C> || mike || माईक || માઈક || মাঈক || மாஈக ||  مایک ||мика ||
>> 戊流岸マイク
>> (aka Dr Michael W Morgan)

mwm || *U*C> || mike || माईक || માઈક || মাঈক || மாஈக ||  مایک ||мика ||
(aka Dr Michael W Morgan)
sign language instructor / sign language linguist / linguistic typologist
PCRV, PC Guyana
Deaf Association of Guyana

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