-ti verber

M Launey mlauney at wanadoo.fr
Fri Sep 26 07:00:46 UTC 2014

Dear Mary, Tomas and listeros

I'm going to be very hectic these next days because I'll be moving and that's exhausting -and depressing-, so please allow me a few days for a detailed answer

Tomas, thanks for reminding me of chanti, which also exists in Milpa Alta, and puzzled me a moment when I heard it for the first time. Let me point out that it is chanti, not calti: it is important, I'll explain why.

Mary, thanks for your examples taken from the corpus, that's food for thought at any rate. I'll try to explain why most of them are unconvincing, and analyze the ones that seem more convincing

Let me just repeat what I wrote, admittedly in an awkward way, in my preceding message:


We also have to be careful about the so-called « meaning » of verbs
> > like « have » or « be » in languages that do have such verbs. The
> > fact that these verbs lack in many other languages, and that such
> > languages nevertheless express pretty well the same notions and
> > relations, shows that « have » or « be » actually mark a complex set
> > of relations, and if we try to find what is common to these relations
,(....) we come to abstract relations such as
> > « mutual position of two entities or two notions ». So, although I do
> > not remember so, it may be the case that some compound words NS (Noun
> > Stem) + -ti can be translated by « have » in English, but it would
> > certainly be an atypical subcase of the use of « have » in English,
> > and certainly different from « have a mother » or « have a house »,
> > which are expressed by possessive nouns (in /-e?/ or /-wa?/) or with
> > the existential oncâ.


My point is that your apparently most convincing examples (namely: pahti and maybe hueliti) confort this position. Very interesting for me as a native French speaker is that the French word-to-word translations of your English glosses (i.e. with "avoir" instead of "have") do not come to the required meaning of the Nahuatl word. This may be part of a misunderstanding, but also a good opportunity to delve into the relevant question: what does "have" mean, or is it meaningful to speak of the meaning of "have"?

But please allow me a few days





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