[Lingtyp] Items that make frequency/rate/tempo modifiers from nouns

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Mon May 23 20:44:16 UTC 2022

Dear all,

I would tend to agree with Johanna that most or all of the cases of 
reduplicated nouns cited by Liz involve distributivity. 
Cross-linguistically, reduplication is the most widespread strategy for 
marking the distributive-share in a relationship of distributivity.The 
most common case is that in which reduplication marking the 
distributive-share occurs on numerals (see 
https://wals.info/chapter/54); however, in some languages, the 
construction generalizes from numerals to other word classes, including 
verbs, adjectives, and — as in the examples cited by Liz — also nouns.

For example, in the Hebrew

(1)hem arzu mizvada-mizvada

3PLM pack.PST.3PL DISTR~suitcase

'They packed one suitcase at a time'

the activity of packing is conceived as mereologically plural, denoting 
a set of packing sub-activities, each of which is associated with a 
single suitcase.Thus, the packing is the distributive key, and the 
suitcase its distributive share.

For distributivity to obtain, there must be a plural distributive key; 
otherwise it is blocked.(This is why you can't say *Mary ate three 
apples each.)In many cases, as in (1) above, the plural distributive key 
is verbal, giving rise to pluractionality.But the semantics of 
distributivity is more complex, involving a binary relationship between 
two items, the distributive key, which may or may not be a pluractional 
verb, and the distributive share — which is often marked by reduplication.


On 23/05/2022 21:48, Johanna Laakso wrote:
> Dear Liz, dear all,
> the Hungarian suffix -nként is known by the name "distributive", and 
> so is the Estonian derivational suffix -ti (and its Finnish cognate 
> -ttain/-ttäin). These adverb suffixes in Uralic are sometimes 
> borderline cases between case inflection and derivation, and Jussi 
> Ylikoski has discussed this Estonian "dwarf case" in a few articles, 
> see e.g. http://jultika.oulu.fi/files/nbnfi-fe202002125279.pdf .
> Perhaps it's just because I have been socialized with a different 
> terminology, but I don't see these suffixes as primarily expressing 
> "pluractionality" or "increment" or "increase". In my view, the point 
> is "division" rather than "addition". The typical context for these 
> adverbs is not "something increases for every X" but rather "there is 
> one Y for each X", "Y is divided between all the X's".
> Best,
> Johanna
> --
> Univ.Prof. Dr. Johanna Laakso
> Universität Wien, Institut für Europäische und Vergleichende Sprach- 
> und Literaturwissenschaft (EVSL)
> Abteilung Finno-Ugristik
> Campus AAKH Spitalgasse 2-4 Hof 7
> A-1090 Wien
> johanna.laakso at univie.ac.athttp://homepage.univie.ac.at/Johanna.Laakso/
> Project ELDIA: http://www.eldia-project.org/
>> Elizabeth Coppock <eecoppock at gmail.com> kirjoitti 23.05.2022 kello 19.58:
>> Dear all,
>> I am working on compiling a list of lexical items (words, affixes, or 
>> constructions) that take a noun and produce an adverb that expresses 
>> a frequency, rate, or tempo. Examples include:
>> - English -ly as in "daily", "monthly" (which seems to be limited to 
>> a small set of time expressions in the relevant usage; *He gave a 
>> playly breakdown of the game.)
>> - The English "X-by-X" construction, as in "day by day", "brick by 
>> brick" (instances of which have been described as "pluractional 
>> adverbials")
>> - Hungarian -nként as in "naponként" 'daily', "hektaronként" 'by hectare"
>> - Reduplicated nouns in Hebrew as in "yom yom" 'day [by] day', or 
>> "mizvada mizvada 'suitcase [by] suitcase' (Gil 1995)
>> What I'm looking for could be described as "items that create 
>> pluractional adverbials when combined with a noun", where the noun 
>> specifies some increment at which the event type in question takes 
>> place. Googling "pluractional adverbials" does not produce a lot of 
>> results outside of English, so I wonder if there is a better term to 
>> search by.
>> (Pluractionality markers that go on verbs and reduplicated numerals 
>> would not fit the description, but a lot of reduplicated nouns 
>> probably would.)
>> Any and all leads would be most appreciated. Thank you very much in 
>> advance.
>> Cheers,
>> Liz Coppock
>> Department of Linguistics
>> Boston University
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David Gil

Senior Scientist (Associate)
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6, Leipzig, 04103, Germany

Email:gil at shh.mpg.de
Mobile Phone (Israel): +972-526117713
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81344082091
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