Author Topic: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In  (Read 2611 times)

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Offline roger

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2010, 11:26:19 pm »
Oel taron yerikit I hunt yerik, plain ordinary transitive verb
 Oe taron I hunt, antipassive - direct object suppressed completely, making verb intrans.
We do this in English too: "I ate a yerik" (transitive) vs. "I ate too much" (intransitive). Does anyone ever call the latter "antipassive", though?

Offline roger

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2010, 11:29:27 pm »
This doesn't imply that all normally-intransitive verbs can be tranistivified, though.  I'd still like to see such a thing, but I'm with suomichris here: I doubt we will.
Oh, I think we will very much see intransitive verbs getting "transitivified" (!), but I think there will be an actual morpheme involved.  We have already seen this with "yomtìng"; I imagine our intransitives becoming transitives will be something like this.
I wonder if we get noun incorporation in Na'vi, so that you can detransitivize a verb by incorporating the object.

We might be able to use si to effectively transitivize another verb, but that might be a fudge.

Offline suomichris

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2010, 11:38:07 pm »
This doesn't imply that all normally-intransitive verbs can be tranistivified, though.  I'd still like to see such a thing, but I'm with suomichris here: I doubt we will.
Oh, I think we will very much see intransitive verbs getting "transitivified" (!), but I think there will be an actual morpheme involved.  We have already seen this with "yomtìng"; I imagine our intransitives becoming transitives will be something like this.
I wonder if we get noun incorporation in Na'vi, so that you can detransitivize a verb by incorporating the object.

We might be able to use si to effectively transitivize another verb, but that might be a fudge.
Yeah, the N + si constructions look a lot like noun incorporation to me; it could well happen as a transitivity-increasing device, but who knows? (Frommer, that's who!)

Offline suomichris

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2010, 11:40:33 pm »
Oel taron yerikit I hunt yerik, plain ordinary transitive verb
 Oe taron I hunt, antipassive - direct object suppressed completely, making verb intrans.
We do this in English too: "I ate a yerik" (transitive) vs. "I ate too much" (intransitive). Does anyone ever call the latter "antipassive", though?
Yeah, people tend to not like to talk about antipassives unless there is an explicit morphological change, so they're SOL in English...

Offline Keylstxatsmen

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2010, 12:04:42 am »
This doesn't imply that all normally-intransitive verbs can be tranistivified, though.  I'd still like to see such a thing, but I'm with suomichris here: I doubt we will.
Oh, I think we will very much see intransitive verbs getting "transitivified" (!), but I think there will be an actual morpheme involved.  We have already seen this with "yomtìng"; I imagine our intransitives becoming transitives will be something like this.
I wonder if we get noun incorporation in Na'vi, so that you can detransitivize a verb by incorporating the object.

We might be able to use si to effectively transitivize another verb, but that might be a fudge.

I thought the noun+si combination was always specifically *not* transitive.

-Keyl
Oeru lì'fya leNa'vi prrte’ leiu nìtxan! 

Txo nga new leskxawnga tawtutehu nìNa'vi pivängkxo, oeru 'upxaret fpe' ulte ngaru srungit tayìng oel.  Faylì'ut alor nume 'awsiteng ko!

Offline suomichris

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2010, 12:22:24 am »
I thought the noun+si combination was always specifically *not* transitive.


Quote
We might be able to use si to effectively transitivize another verb, but that might be a fudge.
Emphasis mine ;)

Offline Keylstxatsmen

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2010, 12:31:13 am »
I thought the noun+si combination was always specifically *not* transitive.


Quote
We might be able to use si to effectively transitivize another verb, but that might be a fudge.
Emphasis mine ;)

Aha! Still, I'm not sure why if noun+si is never transitive, verb+si would be.  Or are you guys thinking of something else?

-Keyl
Oeru lì'fya leNa'vi prrte’ leiu nìtxan! 

Txo nga new leskxawnga tawtutehu nìNa'vi pivängkxo, oeru 'upxaret fpe' ulte ngaru srungit tayìng oel.  Faylì'ut alor nume 'awsiteng ko!

Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2010, 12:39:28 am »
We have already seen this with "yomtìng"; I imagine our intransitives becoming transitives will be something like this.

I'm glad you pointed this out.  It dovetails with what I've been thinking about re: transitivity.  If you'll indulge me:

The way I see it (which is probably wrong), there are three types of words in English that can be either transitive or intransitive:

1) Transitive, but can be used in an anti-passive construction to refer to the general activity: "I eat food", "I eat".  (Yes, it's not an explicit marker of any kind, but I assert that what's happening here has precisely the semantics - if not the syntax - that wm. was talking about when he explained anti-passive.)  In some cases, the transitive and anti-passive use different forms of the verb: Vtr "I await the day", Vin "I await" -> "I wait" (although in Na'vi both of these are the same word: pey).

2) Words that can be used either transitively or intransitively, but with different semantics in the two uses: "I walk", "I walk dogs".  Some may be closely related (but still different): "I run", "I run the fifty-yard dash".  Others are pretty much unrelated and might as well be different words: "I run", "I run a tight ship".

3) Words that reverse the agent-patient relationship when used intransitively vs. transitively: "Glass breaks", "I break glass".  Some of these relationships are expressed using complementary verb pairs: "You die", "I kill you".  But some use the same word: "Ice melts", "heat melts ice".

So - so what?

So now we know that Na'vi has a mechanism for doing 1).  What does this imply about the existence of words like 2) and 3)?  Are there transitive verbs that when changed to intransitive form (by dropping the object and putting the subject in the subjective case) convey a meaning other than the anti-passive?  Na'vi has different words for "die" and "kill"; does it have different words for "ice melts" and "the sun melts ice"?  If not, how does one express the anti-passive ("What do you use that heat-ray for?" "I melt.")?

Consider yìm "bind".  We don't have any attested use of this word, so we don't really know what it means.  Could it have two different meanings depending on its transitivity?  Imagine Vtr yìm "to tie (someone) up with ropes"; Oel yìmìm póti tangekhu "I tied him to the tree" lit "I bound him (with ropes) with the tree" (idiomatic) versus Vin yìm "to have one's queue tangled up with something"; Oe yìmìm vulhu "I got my hair caught in a tree branch" lit "I had my hair tangled with a tree branch" (idiomatic).  If there were such a difference between the transitive and intransitive meanings, how would one express the anti-passive?

Or does the fact that we have an anti-passive construction (drop the object, put the subject in subjective) mean that there are no such words as 2 and 3?

Of course, we don't know.  And I'm sure we'll learn in due course of time.  I suppose my point is that for as much as we're starting to learn, there are questions raised even while others are answered.

  - Eri

Offline roger

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2010, 02:39:34 am »
I suspect that there will be various solutions to (2), as it isn't a single phenomenon. (3), on the other hand, could be handled by a causative; we don't know whether Na'vi might have a causative derivation (likely an infix), or if it might use a periphrastic construction, such as ??oel si futa vul rikx.

Offline suomichris

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2010, 02:44:44 am »
I thought the noun+si combination was always specifically *not* transitive.


Quote
We might be able to use si to effectively transitivize another verb, but that might be a fudge.
Emphasis mine ;)

Aha! Still, I'm not sure why if noun+si is never transitive, verb+si would be.  Or are you guys thinking of something else?

-Keyl
Well, in some sense, the noun in N+si constructions takes the place of the object, eating up one of the arguments.  But, if we have a verb "si" like in English, we get an extra argument: "X eats Y" versus "Z makes X eat Y."

It is late; I hope that is a coherent idea.

Offline Alìm Tsamsiyu

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2010, 10:41:18 am »
Consider yìm "bind".  We don't have any attested use of this word, so we don't really know what it means.

Not to be contrary to your point here, since there are other words that could just as easily fit your examples, but we do have an attested use of yìm: Eytukan in the movie says "Mefot yìm" and the subtitle says "Bind them." (This is just after Jake has told them that he knew about the Skypeople's plans and Neytiri just ran off sad/PO'd)


Other than that, the only thing that I've been wondering about with the Wikipedia post is where the heck did "kop" come from meaning "too/also?"  Didn't Frommer himself JUST give us nìteng for that EXACT meaning in his letter?

Casts a slight shadow of doubt, if you ask me.
Oeyä ayswizawri tswayon alìm ulte takuk nìngay.
My arrows fly far and strike true.

Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2010, 11:09:29 am »
Not to be contrary to your point here, since there are other words that could just as easily fit your examples, but we do have an attested use of yìm: Eytukan in the movie says "Mefot yìm" and the subtitle says "Bind them."

Heh.  Yeah, I thought about that after I posted.  But I had so much fun coming up with the example that I didn't want to go back and edit it. :)

  - Eri

Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2010, 11:10:41 am »
Other than that, the only thing that I've been wondering about with the Wikipedia post is where the heck did "kop" come from meaning "too/also?"  Didn't Frommer himself JUST give us nìteng for that EXACT meaning in his letter?

Eywa told them.

  - Eri

Offline Keylstxatsmen

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2010, 11:18:27 am »
Consider yìm "bind".  We don't have any attested use of this word, so we don't really know what it means.
Other than that, the only thing that I've been wondering about with the Wikipedia post is where the heck did "kop" come from meaning "too/also?"  Didn't Frommer himself JUST give us nìteng for that EXACT meaning in his letter?

It also come from Dr. Frommer: Taron oel kop I hunt too. 

I think it may be a particle, not an adverb, like Japanese も (mo) -- although Dr. Frommer does not know Japanese.

-Keyl
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Txo nga new leskxawnga tawtutehu nìNa'vi pivängkxo, oeru 'upxaret fpe' ulte ngaru srungit tayìng oel.  Faylì'ut alor nume 'awsiteng ko!

Offline Alìm Tsamsiyu

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2010, 11:21:29 am »
I see - so then why nìteng if kop means the same thing? Unless they mean too/also and as.well respectively?
Oeyä ayswizawri tswayon alìm ulte takuk nìngay.
My arrows fly far and strike true.

Offline suomichris

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2010, 11:25:31 am »
Other than that, the only thing that I've been wondering about with the Wikipedia post is where the heck did "kop" come from meaning "too/also?"  Didn't Frommer himself JUST give us nìteng for that EXACT meaning in his letter?

Casts a slight shadow of doubt, if you ask me.
I see them doing slightly different things...  "Nìteng" is literally "samely," i.e., Frommer is waiting in the same way that we are.  "Kop" looks more like it refers to the action in general.

Offline suomichris

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #36 on: January 26, 2010, 11:26:11 am »
I see - so then why nìteng if kop means the same thing? Unless they mean too/also and as.well respectively?
This is another possibility, of course.  Note that English has two words for this: "also" and "too."

Offline Keylstxatsmen

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #37 on: January 26, 2010, 11:40:57 am »
I hope that they are not both adverbs.

Since it is not attached to oel and doesn't have an attr: a-, this is what leads me to think/hope that it is a sentence ending particle - the only type we seem to have. (Also we just don't seem to have enough particles, only four so far: nang, ko, srak, pak :) Japanese has at least 5 or 6 variations just for the word "ko" in Na'vi)

-Keyl
Oeru lì'fya leNa'vi prrte’ leiu nìtxan! 

Txo nga new leskxawnga tawtutehu nìNa'vi pivängkxo, oeru 'upxaret fpe' ulte ngaru srungit tayìng oel.  Faylì'ut alor nume 'awsiteng ko!

Offline suomichris

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #38 on: January 26, 2010, 12:00:17 pm »
I hope that they are not both adverbs.

Since it is not attached to oel and doesn't have an attr: a-, this is what leads me to think/hope that it is a sentence ending particle - the only type we seem to have. (Also we just don't seem to have enough particles, only four so far: nang, ko, srak, pak :) Japanese has at least 5 or 6 variations just for the word "ko" in Na'vi)
Well, their not-quite-the-same-meaningness could certainly come from one being a particle and one being an adverb...  I view the difference as being more along the lines of:

I hunt.
I hunt nìteng : Oh, I hunt like that! (Maybe a human trying to do an "If you prick me..." type thing with the Na'vi)
I hunt kop : I also hunt (but I do it LIKE THIS, you fool!)

*shrug* Time will tell...

Offline Keylstxatsmen

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Re: Transitivity - Wikipedia Weighs In
« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2010, 12:03:37 pm »
I hope that they are not both adverbs.

Since it is not attached to oel and doesn't have an attr: a-, this is what leads me to think/hope that it is a sentence ending particle - the only type we seem to have. (Also we just don't seem to have enough particles, only four so far: nang, ko, srak, pak :) Japanese has at least 5 or 6 variations just for the word "ko" in Na'vi)
Well, their not-quite-the-same-meaningness could certainly come from one being a particle and one being an adverb...  I view the difference as being more along the lines of:

I hunt.
I hunt nìteng : Oh, I hunt like that! (Maybe a human trying to do an "If you prick me..." type thing with the Na'vi)
I hunt kop : I also hunt (but I do it LIKE THIS, you fool!)

*shrug* Time will tell...

Darn it, that makes too much sense.  I will still hold out for more particles though.

-Keyl
Oeru lì'fya leNa'vi prrte’ leiu nìtxan! 

Txo nga new leskxawnga tawtutehu nìNa'vi pivängkxo, oeru 'upxaret fpe' ulte ngaru srungit tayìng oel.  Faylì'ut alor nume 'awsiteng ko!

 

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