Author Topic: *sigh* revisiting modals...again...  (Read 1434 times)

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Offline Kì'eyawn

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*sigh* revisiting modals...again...
« on: October 14, 2010, 12:25:32 pm »
Kaltxì nìmun, ma smuktu.

Apologies for bringing this topic up yet again, but i feel like i keep confusing myself out of what i know.  Specifically, my confusion stems from when a modal verb construction combines a transitive and an intransitive verb.  Some examples to clarify my meaning:

Modal verb transitive, main verb intransitive
Oel new futa nga kivä
I want you to go
The modal verb is transitive, the main verb is intransitive.  Oe becomes agentive oel because there is the patientive futa: this you-go-thing.

So, where i get confused with this one is when the subject doesn't change.  I assume the correct sentence is
*Oel new kivä
I want to go
Because this is really just short for
Oel new (futa oe) kivä
But i'm not sure.  When you drop the futa out of this, does new lose its transitivity?

Modal verb intransitive, main verb transitive
Oe zene Sawtutet rivun
I must find the Skypeople
Oe is in the subjective case because zene is intransitive; there is an "understood" oel omitted from the second part

So, if we change the word order, oe remains in the subjective (rather than agentive) case because it's anchored to zene:
*Zene oe Sawtutet rivun

Kefyak?

Please tell me if there are any errors in my understanding.
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Offline Payä Tìrol

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Re: *sigh* revisiting modals...again...
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2010, 12:39:05 pm »
I don't think that it's the same thing, and it stems from that you use new modally in one construction, and as a transitive verb in the other.

If you use new modally, the subject of the new is Subjective/Nominative/Absolutive (Whatever we've decided to call it now :P) In this case, you're saying that "to go" is something you want.
If you use new with Ag/Pat, you're using it like any other transitive verb. You want "this thing which is that you go". Because wanting something is not absolute, the verb in the clause is subjunctive. I don't think the futa can be omitted, since it's an "anchor" that you're describing through the clause.

I'm not sure they're identical in English either. "I want to go" is distinct from "I want that I go". I *think* both are grammatically correct, although the modal use is much more prevalent.

Basically, there's a subject of the modal verb, which has no single noun as its object. There's also an object of the modified verb, which has no single noun as its subject... If that makes any sense.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2010, 12:41:18 pm by Payä Tìrol »
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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: *sigh* revisiting modals...again...
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2010, 12:39:52 pm »
Think in terms of clauses not sentences, if the modal verb is transitive (only really "new futa") then the subject takes the agentive, if it is intransitive then it takes the subjective.

Where this gets more complicated is when the sentence is "[MODAL] [SUBJECT] [TRANSITIVE VERB]", in this case you could use either (if my understanding is correct) depending on which clause you consider the subject to be in although I'd lean towards using the subjective and counting it in the matrix clause (the main one with the modal verb).

So, your examples would be:

oel new futa nga kivä

oe new kivä (this is not short for the long futa form but is instead an alternative form that happens to be shorter, alternatively, it is the antipassive form of the above and so, like all antipassives the subject takes the subjective case)

oe zene sawtutet rivun

zene oe(l) sawtutet rivun (the -l is optional)
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Offline wm.annis

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Re: *sigh* revisiting modals...again...
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2010, 12:57:40 pm »
zene oe(l) sawtutet rivun (the -l is optional)

Nope.  A modal is a modal whether the subject comes before or after.  Only zene oe sawtutet rivun is correct.
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Offline Kemaweyan

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Re: *sigh* revisiting modals...again...
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2010, 12:58:13 pm »
zene oe(l) sawtutet rivun (the -l is optional)

I've never seen this usage in official sources... So I think it's mistake. Also as for new I think it should be only Oel new futa nga kivä or Oe new kivä (without agentive). For example, from Pawl's letter:

Quote from: Pawl
New oe tivìng ngaru tìoeyktìngit, slä ke lu oer set krr.
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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: *sigh* revisiting modals...again...
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2010, 01:08:58 pm »
zene oe(l) sawtutet rivun (the -l is optional)

Nope.  A modal is a modal whether the subject comes before or after.  Only zene oe sawtutet rivun is correct.

I wasn't disputing that, I was referring to the difference between {must 1 {sky-people-PAT find}} and {must {1-AGN sky-people-PAT find}}, I wasn't sure if the second had been used, I can see why it would be very strange to imply a subject from the clause following it (and possibly not allowed for that reason), but, from the point of view of just looking at clause boundaries it seems possible (although inadvisable).
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Offline Kì'eyawn

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Re: *sigh* revisiting modals...again...
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2010, 01:10:29 pm »
Tam.  So, here's what we have:

Oel new futa nga kiväSrane!
Oel new kiväKehe!
Oe new kiväSrane!

Oe zene sawtutet rivunSrane!
Zene oel sawtutet rivunKehe!
Zene oe sawutet rivunSrane!

Kefyak?
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Offline Kemaweyan

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Re: *sigh* revisiting modals...again...
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2010, 01:17:03 pm »
Yeah ;)

Oe zene sawtutet rivunSrane!
Zene oe sawutet rivunSrane!

Word order in Na'vi doesn't change a meaning and usage of cases :) Of course, I'm talking about single clauses:

  oel new futa po kivä = new oel futa kivä po = new oel futa po kivä = oel new futa kivä po

But we can't move words from first clause (new oel fì'ut) to second one (a po kivä).
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Offline ’eylan ’angtsìkä

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Re: *sigh* revisiting modals...again...
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2010, 01:33:18 pm »

From the "Reference Grammar" (Annis, 6.8.3 & 6.8.4)

   oe new nìtxan ayngaru fyawivìntxu
   I want very much to guide you,

   oel new futa po kivä
   I want him to go (lit. I want that he go).

So if I understand this, what's correct is

Subject new Subjunctive.
oe new kivä
 
Agent new futa Subject Subjunctive.
oel new futa po kivä

Agent new futa Agent Patient Subjunctive.
oel new futa po sawutet rivun

Since all other models can only be intransitive,

Subject zene Patient Subjunctive.
oe zene sawutet rivun

*oel zene ...
*zene oel...
would both be unallowable.


Offline Kì'eyawn

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Re: *sigh* revisiting modals...again...
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2010, 02:48:28 pm »
Tam.  Srungìri ayngeyä irayo seiyi oe ayngaru nìwotx, ma eylan.
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Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: *sigh* revisiting modals...again...
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2010, 02:53:43 pm »
I wasn't disputing that, I was referring to the difference between {must 1 {sky-people-PAT find}} and {must {1-AGN sky-people-PAT find}}, I wasn't sure if the second had been used, I can see why it would be very strange to imply a subject from the clause following it (and possibly not allowed for that reason), but, from the point of view of just looking at clause boundaries it seems possible (although inadvisable).
There is no "forward reference" of subjects in Na'vi, so "zene oel sawtutet rivun" (And for that matter "zene sawtutet rivun oel") would be referencing something else besides the following "oel" - which would probably just end up being confusing.

Come to think of it, modals when the following clause doesn't somehow include the subject of the modal seem a bit confusing.

Oe zene srung sivi ngaru
I must help you - Fairly normal
Nga zene oe srung sivi ngaru
You must be helped by me - A bit odd at first, but perfectly understandable still
Nga zene oe srung sivi poru
??? - Grammatically fine, but semantically....  What???
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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: *sigh* revisiting modals...again...
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2010, 02:59:39 pm »
True, I hadn't really considered that ma Omängum. I guess it pays to come out of the purely theoretical world I was working in to consider that it could only lead to unintelligible statements. Again, irayo.
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