LINGUIST List 3.278

Sat 21 Mar 1992

Qs: Agent, Vietnamese, Machine Grammar

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Juergen Broschart, Coding of AGENT as LOCATION
  2. Dr M Sebba, Query: Vietnamese
  3. Jim Hearne, machine readable context-free grammar og English
  4. Warren Brewer, Morphophoemic alternation of Sg. -azh : Pl. -adzhz
  5. "LLOYD HOLLIDAY, LA TROBE UNIV, EDUCATIOEDULHlure.latrobe.edu.au, AME/BE diffs FOR Inf-C
  6. (LLOYD HOLLIDAY, LA TROBE UNIV, EDUCATIObaronux1.cso.uiuc.edu, texts without e

Message 1: Coding of AGENT as LOCATION

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1992 00:10:08 Coding of AGENT as LOCATION
From: Juergen Broschart <am004aix370.rrz.Uni-Koeln.DE>
Subject: Coding of AGENT as LOCATION


I am intrigued by the phenomenon that in many languages an AGENT (e.g.
in an ergative or passive construction) is marked in the same way (by a
case affix or an adposition) as a PLACE, SOURCE or GOAL, i.e. as some
kind of "Locative", "Ablative", or "Allative", respectively.
So far, I have collected data mainly from Australian languages, where
an ergative-locative syncretism is quite common, whereas ergative-
ablative doesn't seem to occur at all, which is rather odd from a
localist point of view. Moreover, in one language at least (Yanyuwa),
there is a clear ergative-allative syncretism.
As for AGENTs in passive constructions, they seem to be mainly coded as
SOURCE (cf. also German _von_). Coding as PLACE also occurs, and again in
one language (Kayardild), all three kinds of coding are possible, depending
on the position of the AGENT on the animacy hierarchy.

I am interested to find out whether there is any correlation between the
type of construction an AGENT occurs in and the kind of preferred "locational"
coding. So please let me know if you have in mind any languages with similar
phenomena (I know of some cases in Caucasian languages), especially with
- AGENTs marked as GOAL (the syncretism should be an "exclusive" one;
 GOAL cases which also have "dative" functions are not uncommon as AGENT
 markers)
- AGENTs in an ergative language marked as SOURCE ("Ablative")
- AGENTs marked by a PATH case or adposition ("Perlative") - there are
 French _par_, German _durch_, but I have found no other examples so far
- AGENTs in any construction that cannot be classified as either "ergative"
 or "passive", coded as any kind of LOCATION.

Of course, I am also interested in your ideas on how to explain (in terms of
"grammaticalization channels", "paths of metaphorical extensions" and the
like) the coding of an AGENT as a LOCATION (I assume that this is no arbitrary
coincidence). To me, the "Paths" LOCATION -> CAUSE (or INSTRUMENT?) -> AGENT
and LOCATION -> POSSESSOR (of an act) -> AGENT seem equally plausible.
However, this would imply a similar behaviour of PLACE, GOAL, SOURCE and even
PATH markers rather than a different distribution (CAUSE can be viewed as
any of the "local" roles - cf. Radden 1985 - and I think the same holds for
POSSESSOR).
It is also quite probable that I am ignorant of a lot of the literature in
this field, so I would be grateful for any hints in this respect, too.

Eva Schultze-Berndt,
Institut fuer Sprachwissenschaft, Universitaet zu Koeln,
W-5000 Koeln 41, Germany
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Query: Vietnamese

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 92 08:42:22 GMQuery: Vietnamese
From: Dr M Sebba <eia023cent1.lancs.ac.uk>
Subject: Query: Vietnamese

Many thanks to all those who responded to my request for texts on Chinese.
Anyone wanting a summary, please e-mail me.
Another student has pointed out to me a total absence in our library of
anything on Vietnamese, which he speaks natively. Can anyone suggest
one or two key titles, e.g. reference grammars, for Vietnamese, please?

Mark Sebba
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 3: machine readable context-free grammar og English

Date: Fri, 20 Mar 92 11:23:39 PSmachine readable context-free grammar og English
From: Jim Hearne <hearnecs.wwu.edu>
Subject: machine readable context-free grammar og English


Can someone direct me to a site containing a machine readable
context-free grammar of English that is fairly substantial? We
need it to study a genetic parsing algorithm we have devised.

Thanks for any help.

			Jim Hearne
			Computer Science Department
			Western Washington University
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 4: Morphophoemic alternation of Sg. -azh : Pl. -adzhz

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 92 18:30:38 CSMorphophoemic alternation of Sg. -azh : Pl. -adzhz
From: Warren Brewer <BAE01TWNTKU10.bitnet>
Subject: Morphophoemic alternation of Sg. -azh : Pl. -adzhz

For a small set of lexemes in my idiolect ending in <-age>, the yogh
("zh" of Zhivago) extends only to the singular forms, resulting in a
morphophonemic alternation between yogh [-zh#] in absolute word-final
position and d-yogh [-dzh-] elsewhere. I say _prestige_ with a
shibilant in the noun, but _prestigious_ with an affricate in the
adjective. In the set of nouns {mirage, massage, barrage, corsage,
garage, subterfuge}, I have a yogh in the final-stressed singular,
but d-yogh in the penultimate-stressed plural stems.

Nobody else I have discussed this with agrees with this apparent
morphological realignment. Am I weird or what?

 Warren A. Brewer
 English Department
 Tamkang University
 Tamsui, Taiwan
 e-mail: bae01twntku10.bitnet
 ("Die einzige gute Sprache ist eine tote Sprache!"
 ---Brugman)
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 5: AME/BE diffs FOR Inf-C

Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1992 23:22 GMTAME/BE diffs FOR Inf-C
From: "LLOYD HOLLIDAY, LA TROBE UNIV, EDUCATIOEDULHlure.latrobe.edu.au <EDULHlure.latrobe.edu.au>
Subject: AME/BE diffs FOR Inf-C

In Baker, CL English Syntax, he distinguishes between
V [-Inf-P] and
V [-Inf-C] this is fine and
the latter is analysed as For-P Inf-P with 3 examples:
Karen wants [for Bill to get a diploma].
Charles would prefer [for the butler to open the bottle].
Curt likes [for the poodle to stay under the porch].
These are only acceptable to me with the for deleted. Do I speak some
strange idiolect or have I only just noticed a difference between AME/BE
None of my reference books notes this distinction, however. I'd appreciate
yr comments.
Lloyd Holliday
edulhlure.latrobe.edu.au
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 6: texts without e

Date: Thu, 19 Mar 92 09:11:35 CStexts without e
From: (LLOYD HOLLIDAY, LA TROBE UNIV, EDUCATIObaronux1.cso.uiuc.edu <baronux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Subject: texts without e

A month or two ago there was a brief discussion on either Linguist
or Humanist about a kind of word play in which texts are composed
without the letter e. Unfortunately I didn't pay all that much
attention to it, but now it turns out I need to find out the name
of this activity. I'm sorry but I still haven't learned to retrieve
archive indexes of old discussions (why do I keep putting this off?).
Can anyone supply that name? Thanks.

Dennis Baron debaronuiuc.edu
Dept. of English office: 217-244-0568
University of Illinois messages: 217-333-2392
608 S. Wright St fax: 217-333-4321
Urbana IL 61801
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue