[Lingtyp] Affectionate or sympathy marking

Cat Butz Cat.Butz at hhu.de
Thu Jan 12 12:20:24 UTC 2023

Hello Christian,

Japanese uses one of its most internationally known words to express 

kawaí-i inú=chan
cute-NPST dog-TITLE
"cute doggy"

kawai-sóo=na inú-chan
"poor doggy" (lit. doggy that seems/looks cute)

The suffix/clitic "-sóo" generally expresses evidentiality (e.g. 
Oishi-sóo! 'tasty-EVID' "That [food] looks good!"), but in the case of 
"kawai-sóo" has lexicalized into an expression of sympathy.

Cat Butz (she)
HHU Düsseldorf, general linguistics

Cat Butz (sie)
HHU Düsseldorf, allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft

Am 2023-01-12 11:10, schrieb Christian Döhler:
> Dear colleagues,
> I am looking for publications that address the difference between (1)
> and (2). In (2), the English adjective _poor_ is used to signal the
> speaker's sympathy or affection towards the dog.
>  	* _The dog is waiting for its owner._
>  	* _The poor dog is waiting for its owner._
>  While English (and my native German) does this by extending the
> meaning of the adjective _poor _(and _arm_ in German), other languages
> have special words with only that meaning. For example, Komnzo _bana
> _is a postposed adjective that only conveys sympathy.
> _    ni bananzo namnzr karen._
> _    _ni           bana=nzo        na\m/nzr
> kar=en
>     1NSG    SYMP=only     1PL:NPST:IPFV/stay    village=LOC
>     'Only we poor guys stay behind in the village' (subtext: 'while
> the others are going to the celebration in the neighbouring village')
>     (NSG = non-singular, SYMP = sympathy marker, NPST = nonpast)
> Yet other languages seem to have special verb morphology for this. Van
> Tongeren describes this for Suki (her PhD grammar will probably be
> available later this year).
> Pointers to more examples and publications of this are most welcome. I
> was googling this with keywords like "sympathy", "empathy",
> "affection", but with not much luck. So there might be a whole
> literature on this phenomenon under different terminology. If that's
> the case, then please excuse my ignorance.
> Very Best,
> Christian
> --
> Dr. Christian Döhler
> Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS)
> Schützenstraße 18
> 10117 Berlin
> Raum: 445
> Tel.: +49 30 20192 412
> https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9659-5920
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