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Author Topic: Causative cases for different verb forms  (Read 656 times)
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Meuiatu te leywat
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« on: June 02, 2010, 12:41:51 pm »

Infix entry:
<eyk>: [Ejk] FE causative verbal infix in position 0: Oel teykaron pot. I caused him to hunt.

The person being made to do something should take the dative, rather than the accusative right  Huh?

Oel teykaron po-ru.

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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2010, 12:50:29 pm »

Infix entry:
<eyk>: [Ejk] FE causative verbal infix in position 0: Oel teykaron pot. I caused him to hunt.

The person being made to do something should take the dative, rather than the accusative right  Huh?

Oel teykaron po-ru.



only if the verb is transitive. In this case, taron is being used intransitively so Taronyu is correct in using the accusative.
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2010, 12:54:09 pm »

I don't think that's how it works. If the verb is used intransitively, then there should be no accusative. The person you make hunt would still be in the dative. "Oel teykaron pot" would mean "I make (someone) hunt it".
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2010, 01:02:16 pm »

I don't think that's how it works. If the verb is used intransitively, then there should be no accusative. The person you make hunt would still be in the dative. "Oel teykaron pot" would mean "I make (someone) hunt it".

No, read Frommer's email telling us about <eyk> again. If the verb is intransitive, the causee takes the accusative, if the verb is transitive, the causee take the dative.
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2010, 04:09:27 pm »

But "taron" isn't intransitive, it's ambitransative.  Frommer never said what happens when an ambitransative verb is being used intransativeley with the causative.  (Or for that matter what happens to ditransitive verbs.)
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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2010, 04:17:31 pm »

I would think that all transitive/ambitransitive verbs would require the dative

He forced me to hunt  v  He forced me to hunt Ikran.

Po-l oe-ru ikran-it teykaron v Po-l oe-ru teykaron. 

In both sentences I'm the the receiver of the action regardless of whether or not I've been forced to hunt Ikran or something else. 
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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2010, 04:23:42 pm »

But "taron" isn't intransitive, it's ambitransative.  Frommer never said what happens when an ambitransative verb is being used intransativeley with the causative.  (Or for that matter what happens to ditransitive verbs.)

Ditransitives certainly do pose a problem although I imagine it can be solved with -fa-. But surely an ambitransitive verb would just be treated as however it is behaving at that point. In this sentence taron is intransitive so I'd expect it to take an accusative causee.

I would think that all transitive/ambitransitive verbs would require the dative

He forced me to hunt  v  He forced me to hunt Ikran.

Po-l oe-ru ikran-it teykaron v Po-l oe-ru teykaron. 

In both sentences I'm the the receiver of the action regardless of whether or not I've been forced to hunt Ikran or something else. 


But those are two different uses of the verb so I'm not sure that it is necessarily possible to say that because in one it behaves one way in one sentence that it must in another.

As I say, it could go either way, but I'd expect it to be that ambitransitives behave ambitransitively with causatives instead of being transitive, that is, they behave as transitive or intransitive depending on the sentence.
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2010, 04:26:03 pm »

Quote from: Frommer
Eytukanìl Neytirir yerikit teykolaron.
‘Eytukan made Neytiri hunt a hexapede.’

OR

Eytukanìl fa Neytiri yerikit teykolaron.
‘Eytukand had a hexapede hunted by Neytiri.’


source: http://wiki.learnnavi.org/index.php?title=Canon#More_extracts_from_various_emails

So Taronyu's example essentially means that "I made [omitted causee] hunt him."
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2010, 04:33:08 pm »

But "taron" isn't intransitive, it's ambitransative.  Frommer never said what happens when an ambitransative verb is being used intransativeley with the causative.  (Or for that matter what happens to ditransitive verbs.)

Ditransitives certainly do pose a problem although I imagine it can be solved with -fa-. But surely an ambitransitive verb would just be treated as however it is behaving at that point. In this sentence taron is intransitive so I'd expect it to take an accusative causee.

I would think that all transitive/ambitransitive verbs would require the dative

He forced me to hunt  v  He forced me to hunt Ikran.

Po-l oe-ru ikran-it teykaron v Po-l oe-ru teykaron. 

In both sentences I'm the the receiver of the action regardless of whether or not I've been forced to hunt Ikran or something else. 


But those are two different uses of the verb so I'm not sure that it is necessarily possible to say that because in one it behaves one way in one sentence that it must in another.

As I say, it could go either way, but I'd expect it to be that ambitransitives behave ambitransitively with causatives instead of being transitive, that is, they behave as transitive or intransitive depending on the sentence.
That doesn't make sense though.  Normally you can tell how a verb is being used by the presence or lack of the ergative case.  But in causative usage, there's always an ergative case, so then you're asking the person to figure out from context if you're using it transitively or intransitively, and it may not always be clear, leading to mental backtracking and difficulty understanding.
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2010, 04:34:21 pm »

But "taron" isn't intransitive, it's ambitransative.

It really isn't.  Using a normally transitive verb without the ergative subject is a special sort of syntax, not an inherent quality of verb transitivity.  The causative ought to either (1) assume the most common transitivity (in which case taron is definitely transitive) or (2) yack out an idiomatic meaning with unpredictable transitivity.
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2010, 04:48:21 pm »

Using a normally transitive verb without the ergative subject is a special sort of syntax, not an inherent quality of verb transitivity

Do we know that? As I understood it, our only communication we have from Frommer on the matter was less than enlightening and could be read as implying that the majority of verbs were truly ambitransitive.

If we assume your interpretation though, then yes I'd have to agree that it would take the dative.

But "taron" isn't intransitive, it's ambitransative.  Frommer never said what happens when an ambitransative verb is being used intransativeley with the causative.  (Or for that matter what happens to ditransitive verbs.)

Ditransitives certainly do pose a problem although I imagine it can be solved with -fa-. But surely an ambitransitive verb would just be treated as however it is behaving at that point. In this sentence taron is intransitive so I'd expect it to take an accusative causee.

I would think that all transitive/ambitransitive verbs would require the dative

He forced me to hunt  v  He forced me to hunt Ikran.

Po-l oe-ru ikran-it teykaron v Po-l oe-ru teykaron. 

In both sentences I'm the the receiver of the action regardless of whether or not I've been forced to hunt Ikran or something else. 


But those are two different uses of the verb so I'm not sure that it is necessarily possible to say that because in one it behaves one way in one sentence that it must in another.

As I say, it could go either way, but I'd expect it to be that ambitransitives behave ambitransitively with causatives instead of being transitive, that is, they behave as transitive or intransitive depending on the sentence.
That doesn't make sense though.  Normally you can tell how a verb is being used by the presence or lack of the ergative case.  But in causative usage, there's always an ergative case, so then you're asking the person to figure out from context if you're using it transitively or intransitively, and it may not always be clear, leading to mental backtracking and difficulty understanding.

You could tell if it had been transitive or not by the presence of a dative in this case. It's not hugely difficult and is roughly equivalent (on a scale of the amount the usual rules are minced) to the way you can say "I give you this" and "I give to you" in English which you wouldn't think twice about.
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2010, 05:07:17 pm »

That works until you have a verb which can be either transitive or intransitive, and may or may not take the dative.
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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2010, 05:15:55 pm »

The way I think about it is this.

  • If the verb is transitive then the DirObj of the causative remains the original DirObj, and receives the ACC.
    Oel taron yertikit. —› Oel teykaron yerikit [fa ’awpo/’awpor.]

  • If the verb is (strictly) intransitive then there's no DirObj, as the only Arg is the Subj. The original Subj becomes the causative DirObj, and receives the ACC.
    Tìrusol sngä’i. —› Oel sngeykä’i tìrusolit [fa ’awpo/’awpor.]

  • If the verbs takes a dative Obj (like some si compounds) then ‹eyk› turns the verb into a standard transitive one, and it behaves accordingly (see #1.)
    Oe uvan si uvanur. —› Oel uvan seyki uvanit [fa ’awpo/’awpor.]

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I see nothing confusing about this. Regardless of your original verb, the causative syntax is always the same. I think your mistake is that you try to understand the workings of the causative construct from the perspective of the original verb – which is no longer there.
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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2010, 05:20:50 pm »

That works until you have a verb which can be either transitive or intransitive, and may or may not take the dative.

Which is what ambitransitivity means. The verb can only be one in a given sentence, there's no way a verb phrase could contain a verb that is both transitive and intransitive at the same time (unless we want to get invent some form of quantum linguistics but somehow I doubt that would work very well), the verb would be ambitransitive and, in a given context, one or the other.

The way I think about it is this.

  • If the verb is transitive then the DirObj of the causative remains the original DirObj, and receives the ACC.
    Oel taron yertikit. —› Oel teykaron yerikit [fa ’awpo/’awpor.]

  • If the verb is (strictly) intransitive then there's no DirObj, as the only Arg is the Subj. The original Subj becomes the causative DirObj, and receives the ACC.
    Tìrusol sngä’i. —› Oel sngeykä’i tìrusolit [fa ’awpo/’awpor.]

  • If the verbs takes a dative Obj (like some si compounds) then ‹eyk› turns the verb into a standard transitive one, and it behaves accordingly (see #1.)
    Oe uvan si uvanur. —› Oel uvan seyki uvanit [fa ’awpo/’awpor.]

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I see nothing confusing about this. Regardless of your original verb, the causative syntax is always the same. I think your mistake is that you try to understand the workings of the causative construct from the perspective of the original verb – which is no longer there.

In your second example, I don't think you could have the dative intermediate causer there because then you'd effectively have a doubly causative verb and that would be a pain to do and might require an additional <eyk> infix.

Anyway, you describe situations of transitives which become ditransitive with the causee becoming dative, intransitives which become transitive and dative transitives which become ditransitive with the causee becoming accusative; the problem is this argument is about none of those, but whether ambitransitives behave as whichever they are used as most commonly or whether they behave as they are being used in the sentence.

So, whether oe taron counts as a transitive for the purposes of your causative algorithm, or whether it counts as an intransitive. It is sadly a grey area.
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2010, 05:36:01 pm »

That works until you have a verb which can be either transitive or intransitive, and may or may not take the dative.

Which is what ambitransitivity means. The verb can only be one in a given sentence, there's no way a verb phrase could contain a verb that is both transitive and intransitive at the same time (unless we want to get invent some form of quantum linguistics but somehow I doubt that would work very well), the verb would be ambitransitive and, in a given context, one or the other.
That's more than just ambitransitive though.  Ambitransitivity says nothing about indirect objects.  But following your rules, there are cases where you can't TELL if the direct object would have been the subject or object of the regular form.

However here's a third possibility nobody has considered...

Taron - Transitive, you hunt something.  Oel yerikit taron
But without something to hunt given it's used intransitive.  Oe taron.

Teykaron - DItransitive, you cause someone to hunt something.  Oel ngaru yerikit teykaron
So like above, without something to hunt given... intransitive?  Oe ngaru teykaron

This is definitely something we need some input on.  But I'm pretty sure that "Oel ngati teykaron" is wrong.  There's no reason that couldn't be assuming the dative from context, in which case it's I cause (something contextual) to hunt you.
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