[Lingtyp] Applicative and preposition

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Wed Oct 17 15:31:11 UTC 2018

Dear Simon and others,

Our chapter on Jakarta Indonesian in the ValPal project discusses the 
construction — cf. example (34) therein — in which the supposed 
"applicative" suffix "-in" occurs in a clause in which the non-core 
argument retains its flagging.

Conners, Thomas, John Bowden and David Gil (2015) "Valency Classes in 
Jakarta Indonesian", in A. Malchukov and B. Comrie eds., /Valency 
Classes in the World's Languages/, DeGruyter Mouton, Berlin.

Similar examples occur in other languages in our Jakarta Field Station 
corpus, for example in Minangkabau (utterance ID no. 822826101244080606) 
in which "agiah-an" ('give-APPL) cooccurs with a goal argument flagged 
with "untuak" ('for').

But I share the reservations expressed by Adam and Martin.  I would not 
characterize Jakarta Indonesian "-in" and Minangkabau "-an" as 
Applicatives in their respective languages, and it is not clear to me 
that a useful cross-linguistic comparative concept of applicative would 
include these cases either— even though, as Simon correctly points out, 
the corresponding form "-kan" in Standard Indonesian is often 
characterized as such.


On 17/10/2018 07:15, Simon Musgrave wrote:
> Dear Lingtyp members,
> I am posting this query on behalf of one of my PhD students. We will 
> post a summary of responses in due course.
> From existing studies of applicatives, only two Austronesian 
> languages, Taba and Indonesian, have been documented to unexpectedly 
> retain a preposition when an applicative affix is used to promote a 
> previously non-core object to core.
> Bowden, in his grammatical description of Taba (2001), states that it 
> is possible for the same idea to be expressed using three 
> possibilities. Firstly, that the third entity is introduced by a 
> preposition, secondly that the applied object is marked by an 
> applicative morpheme and thirdly that the applied object can be marked 
> by an applicative morpheme and preposition, as the following examples 
> show.
> (1)a.    Ahmad    npun    kolay
>     Ahmad    3SG=kill    snake
>     ‘Ahmad killed a snake.’
> b.    Ahmad    npun    kolay    ada    peda    PREPOSITION
>     Ahmad    3SG=kill    snake    with    machete
>     ‘Ahmad killed a snake with a machete.’
> c.    Ahmad    npunak    kolay    peda    APPLICATIVE
>     Ahmad    3SG=kill-APPL    snake    machete
>     ‘Ahmad killed a snake with a machete.’
>     d.    Ahmad    npunak    kolay    ada    peda    BOTH
>     Ahmad    3SG=kill-APPL    snake    with    machete
>     ‘Ahmad killed a snake with a machete.’    (2001:204)
> Sometimes Indonesian clauses with applicative verbs suffixed with –kan 
> retain the preposition directly following the verb when it is expected 
> to have been lost according to conventional grammar rules, as shown in 2.
> (2)a.    Yang    penting    saya    sangat    men-cinta-i Sandy
>     REL    important    1SG    very    meN.love.APPL Sandy
>     dan     meny-enang-kan    atas    semua    ke-jadi-an itu
>         meN-senang-kan
>     and    meN-pity-APPL    on    all    event    that
>     ‘What is important is that I love Sandy and regret everything that 
> happened.’     (Musgrave 2001:156)
>     b.    Kami    juga    sudah    mem-bicara-kan    dengan     
> pem-erintah     pusat
>     2PL    also    already    meN-talk-APPL    with government    central
>     di     Jakarta    soal    rencana    men-ambah beasiswa    Jerman
>     in    Jakarta    matter    plan    meN-increase scholarship    German
>     untuk    Indonesia…
>     for    Indonesia
>     ‘We have also spoken with the central government in Jakarta about 
> the plan to increase German scholarships to Indonesia.’      
> (Quasthoff & Gottwald 2012: indmix_565272)
> Previous studies of Indonesian have noted the co-occurrence of 
> applicatives and prepositions and have usually made passing comments 
> often speculating that this feature is prevalent in non-standard 
> Indonesian.
> Our query is whether any list subscribers know of other languages 
> which show this phenomenon and has anyone written about it?
> Thanks in advance for any information which you can share!
> Best, Simon
> References
> Bowden, John. 2001. Taba: Description of a South Halmahera language. 
> Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
> Musgrave, Simon. 2001. Non-subject arguments in Indonesian. The 
> University of Melbourne. (PhD thesis).
> Quasthoff, Uwe & Sebastian Gottwald. 2012. Leipzig corpus collection. 
> (Ed.) Uwe Quasthoff & Gerhard Heyer. University of Leipzig. 
> http://corpora2.informatik.uni-leipzig.de/.
> -- 
> -- 
> *Simon Musgrave *
> Lecturer
> *School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics
> *
> Monash University
> VIC 3800
> Australia
> T: +61 3 9905 8234
> E: simon.musgrave at monash.edu <mailto:name.surname at monash.edu>
> monash.edu <http://monash.edu/>
> Secretary, Australasian Association for the Digital Humanities (aaDH 
> <http://aa-dh.org/>)
> Official page <http://profiles.arts.monash.edu.au/simon-musgrave/>
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David Gil

Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany

Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81281162816

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