[Lingtyp] languages lacking a verb for 'give'

Paolo Ramat paoram at unipv.it
Thu Jan 27 09:55:45 UTC 2022

A marginal note: already Ch. Bally, *Linguist. franç. et linguist. génér.
(§ 185) *mentioned verbs as* louer  *'to rent out, to lend' and 'to hire'
or *hôte '*host' and 'guest'. Kronasser 1952 spoke for such cases of an
'ungegliederte Situationsverstellung' that can even be reconstructed via
comparison between strictly comparable languages: see Gk.  baínō  'I go'
vs. Lat*. ueni*ō ' 'I come'. Similarly, you find Germ. *geben *"to give" vs.
OIr.* gaibim *'I take'. Such an originally undivided meaning  can be found
in many languages, especially with verbs originally denoting 'exchange'.

Many years ago (1972) I dealt with this point in an article published in
"Studi Germanici" 10, p. 43-79 (see also "Indogerm. Forsch."76/1971:

Prof. Dr. Paolo Ramat
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Socio corrispondente
'Academia Europaea'
'Societas Linguistica Europaea', Honorary Member

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Il giorno gio 27 gen 2022 alle ore 09:56 Maia Ponsonnet <
maia.ponsonnet at uwa.edu.au> ha scritto:

> Hello,
> Somewhat tangentially, you may want to look at some of the chapters in
> this volume?
> https://benjamins.com/catalog/cal.29
> I can't remember a mention of the phenomenon you describe, but some of the
> contributions may have clues?
> Cheers and kind regards, Maïa
> Dr Maïa Ponsonnet
> Adjunct Researcher, Discipline of Linguistics
> Building M257
> The University of Western Australia
> 35 Stirling Hwy, Perth, WA (6009), Australia
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of
> Matthew Dryer <dryer at buffalo.edu>
> *Sent:* Thursday, 27 January 2022 4:43 AM
> *To:* lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> >
> *Subject:* [Lingtyp] languages lacking a verb for 'give'
> I am sending this query on behalf of a colleague.
> He wants to know whether anyone knows of a language that lacks a "give"
> type verb and would express something like "I gave him the book" instead as
> something like "I presented the book (to him) and he took it". That is, is
> there a language that can only express a give-type concept with two more
> analytic clauses?
> Matthew Dryer
> _______________________________________________
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> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
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