-ti verber

Clayton, Mary L. clayton at indiana.edu
Fri Sep 26 17:10:29 UTC 2014

Dear Michel,
     You certainly have my sympathy with regard to the move. Joe and I 
went through that twice (last time 1980), and hope never to do it again.
     I will be interested to hear your comments when you have the time.
     I think the main point from my point of view is that, whatever the 
details of the meaning of 'have', this verber is different, both in 
form and in meaning from the other -ti verber. The meaning of 
nicahuallocactia 'I shoe a horse', 'I cause a horse to have shoes', 
involves a first person subject and can hardly involve an equation 
between 'I' and either 'horse' or 'shoe'. Also, the causative is formed 
with -a, and not with -lia, as in tlacati, 'he is born', he becomes a 
person', tetlacatilia 'he engenders someone', 'He causes someone to 
become a person, to be born'.

     Joe sends best wishes for the move,

Quoting M Launey <mlauney at wanadoo.fr>:

> 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
> Best
> Michel

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