ihcequi doing it=?windows-1252?Q?=92s_?=applicative thing

Jonathan Amith jdanahuatl at gmail.com
Thu Nov 3 01:55:38 UTC 2011

Hi, Mitsuya might be able to better than I.

There are certain valency increasing and valency decreasing mechanisms. The
most common valency increasing devices are causatives and applicatives (the
term aplicativo was first used, I think, by Carochi in fact, in reference
to Nahuatl). The causative generally moves a subject of an intransitive to
the object of a transitive and introduces a "causer"  for the transitive:
     nicho:ka >  ne:chcho:ktia
An applicative introduces a new argument, often a benefactive or
malefactive, although other semantic roles are possible (source,
destination, experiencer).

Terminology might vary. I think that Beth Levin refers to certain
alternations (break/break) as causative alternations, for example, others
might refer to these by other terms. At any rate, the semantics of the
variation are often argument specific. An example I used in my Nahuatl class
                      I broke my promise    ? My promise broke
                      ?I broke my voice       My voice broke
                      I broke the vase          The vase broke

For valency reducing devices common ones are the antipassive and
anticausative, passives.

Amberber in the book by Dixon and Aikhenvald (Changing Valency) notes, p.
315: "If an event encoded by a transitive predicate can be conceptualized
as taking place without the intervention of an external causer, the event
can be cast in the anticausative"  This is in reference to Amharic. Since
ihseki cannot occur in this manner, then perhaps your use of anticausative
is different than that implied by Amberber (and Levin and Rappaport, whom
he cites).

So, for example, something can close by itself, e.g., a wound, but in
Nahuatl (Balsas) there is no intransitive to mark this type of event. (In
Sierra Norte de Puebla there is). Thus in Balsas
A           notsakwas ka:mpa o:timotek   (your cut will heal/close up)
B           diki tihka:hte:was hko:n pwe:rtah, notsakwas  (if you leave the
door like that when you leave, it'll close [e.g. by the wind]
C           A-- hko:n?   B-- Ka:yoweh, ma notsakwa.  A-- Like this?  B--
No, it should be closed (in this case a door behind one, someone closing it)

So the reflexive marker can have a lot of different implications.  Maybe 1,
2, 3 above indicate different degrees of agentivity (none, wind
[inanimate], animate). I guess in Amberber's perspective B is more like an
anticausative as it can take place without the intervention of an external
causer, though A could also be so considered. I really would need to look
into how people have talked about these things. I really think that people
might differ on this, but the general idea is that a transitive is used
intransitively (often with a derivational affix) and no Agent is stated or
implied. A passive might have no stated agent (indeed in Nahuatl passives
cannot express an agent (cf. English. The ball was punctured and The ball
was punctured by John).

As for antipassives, this is another valency reducing device. In the
typical case an Agent of a Transitive becomes the Subject of an
Intransitive. With ergative languages this is clear as the subject of
intransitives are marked differently than the agents of transitives. With
nominative accusative languages such as English, some consider
constructions such as I eat to be an intransitive. But since Subject of
intransitive and Agent of transitives are marked the same, there is more
discussion here than with a language such as Mayan.

Nevertheless, in Nahuatl tla- does seem to be used, at least in Balsas, as
an antipassive marker since the object can be expressed obliquely with ika.

                       nihkwa:s yetl                   I will eat beans
(yetl is the object)
                       nitlakwa:s ika yetl           I will have a meal
with beans.

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 9:13 PM, John Sullivan <idiez at me.com> wrote:

> Jonathan and/or Mitsuya,
>        Can you explain the concept of anticausative?
> John
> On Nov 2, 2011, at 4:21 PM, Jonathan Amith wrote:
> > Yes, that is there, but he mentioned a deverbal form uitecqui, which is
> > what I can't find.
> >
> > On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 2:05 PM, John F. Schwaller <schwallr at potsdam.edu
> >wrote:
> >
> >> Could it possibly be lurking as uiuitequi - nite - apalear a otro  ???
> f.
> >> 158 of Molina
> >>
> >>
> >> On 11/2/2011 1:37 PM, Jonathan Amith wrote:
> >>
> >>> Hi,
> >>>
> >>> I couldn't find uitecqui in my version of Molina. Rémi Siméon has
> uitecqui
> >>> as "golpeado, fustigado, corregido, castigado" and has uitequi as a
> >>> transitive.
> >>>
> >>>
> >> --
> >> *****************************
> >> John F. Schwaller
> >> President
> >> SUNY - Potsdam
> >> 44 Pierrepont Ave.
> >> Potsdam, NY  13676
> >> Tel. 315-267-2100
> >> FAX 315-267-2496
> >>
> >>
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