Author Topic: Si Compounds and Word Order  (Read 698 times)

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Offline Erimeyz

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Si Compounds and Word Order
« on: February 04, 2010, 07:08:36 pm »
So I just noticed that Frommer's various "thank you" phrases include the following:

irayo seiyi
seiyi irayo
seiyi oe irayo


I don't think we've otherwise seen such flexibility in the si compounds (teya si, tìkangkem si, eltu si, ätxäle si, kelku si, uvan si, etc).  Wikibooks says "the si may occasionally come before the noun".  I'd take the evidence from Frommer's thank-yous to say that it's more than just occasionally, but rather that the si compound word order is as fully free as plain old S-V-O.

I'm seriously weirded out by seiyi oe irayo, though.  Just how far apart can Noun and Make/Do get?

This flexibility is only attested for irayo si (I think).  But is there any reason to think the other compounds behave any differently?

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Offline omängum fra'uti

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Re: Si Compounds and Word Order
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 07:20:04 pm »
Maybe it's just taken that pronoun + si doesn't make sense, so anything besides a basic noun won't cause ambiguity?

(Basic noun here including question forms, such as in kempe si)

That said the whole thing that it becomes intransitive weirds me out too, if the order is flexible.  That means you have potentially two bare nouns.  But I can't think of many cases of ACTUAL ambiguity...  Most the sentences I can think of off the top of my head either involve the subject being a pronoun (Including this & that forms of words), a proper noun, or a class of thing (IE "animals" - ayioang eltu si nìltsan - animals pay attention well) which would put it in the plural.  So if we take it that "si" constructions can only be made with basic uninflected nouns, it may be that there is almost never ambiguity.

Or to take it a step further, if we take that all "si" expressions are idiomatic in nature, then there is no issue at all unless you're using two words that just happen to both be used with si.

So it may be a non-issue...  But yet another thing we don't know at the moment.
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