LINGUIST List 5.1169

Sun 23 Oct 1994

Sum: French -ac, Posture verbs

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Message 1: summary of toponyms in -ac

Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 11:11:40 summary of toponyms in -ac
From: <ADGERWHOPE.CIT.HOPE.EDU>
Subject: summary of toponyms in -ac

Summary of Fr. toponyms in -ac.
 The formant -ac derives from a Gaulish (Celtic) suffix borrowed
into Latin as -acum. It meant "belonging to" or "estate of" or
something of the sort. Hence Aurelius's place becomes Aurelliac.
 Actually, it is a little more complicated. In the Languedoc,
(South France), acum > ac, while in the North acum > y (Langue
de oui). Hence Aurelliacum > Orly.
 I also got suggestions that -ac arose from something Basque, but
that is not the generally accepted interpretation.

Thanks to the following for their contribution to the answer.
 Johan Rooryck
 Richard Coates
 J"org Knappen
 Marc Picard
 Curtis Blaylock
 Max Wheeler
 Kutz Arrieta
 Tom Field
 Emily Bender
 Suzanne Fleischman
and various unnamed addresses.

adgerwhope.cit.hope.edu
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Message 2: Summary of posture verb grammaticalization

Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 13:26:28 Summary of posture verb grammaticalization
From: <ADGERWHOPE.CIT.HOPE.EDU>
Subject: Summary of posture verb grammaticalization

I would like to prefix this summary with the statement that I am happy to
continue to receive messages with regard to this subject.

Many thanks to all who responded to my query. Here is a bare synthesis of
results.

Posture verbs (sit, stand, lie, by and large) tend to grammaticalize
in one of two directions. Malay is an exception to this, co-opting
the "stand" root for its voice altering suffix, and its pronoun system.

Usually, they become tense-aspect markers, usually for
progressives and such (see Bybee et al. pp 129-131.).
Or they compete with the copula (as in German or Russian), or develop into a
copula, as in Spanish.

For example in Dutch, one may say:
 "Ik zit een boek te lezen."
I sit a book to read.=I am reading a book. (sitting)

In Russian one says
Butylka stoit na stole.
Bottle stands on table.
Using lie would mean that the bottle is on its side, so the orientation is
still significant in Russian, whereas...

in Spanish, the verb estar (from stand) can be used whatever orientation
its Theme is in.

Languages with Tense-Aspect markers from posture verbs are:
 Hebrew: stand + verb for immediate future
 Dutch: posture verb + infinitive for progressive
 Siouan: posture verbs for aspect markers
 Yuman: posture verbs as aspect markers
 Turkic: generally, Uyghur in specific: posture verbs for aspect
 markers
 Hindi: posture verbs for aspect makers.
 Nepali: posture verbs for aspect makers.
 see also list in Bybee et al.

Languages with posture verbs as copulas (i.e. more than English),
retaining orientation sense:
 Kamchadal (Paleo-Siberian)
 German
 Dutch
 Russian
Languages with posture verbs as copulas w/o orientation sense:
 Gaelic
 Catalan
 Spanish
 Portugese
 Japanese: *i* the be-verb for animates is derived from "sit".

I am not sure where the Australian languages mentioned to
me fit into this scheme, but they use posture verbs as copulas somehow.:
 Pama-Nyungan [perhaps all of them] (Australian)
 Murinbata aka Murrinh-patha (Australian
 Walpiri (Australian)

Some suggested bibliography:
Joan Bybee, Revere Perkins, and William Pagliuca. 1994.
 THE EVOLUTION OF GRAMMAR: Tense, Aspect, and Modality
 in the Languages of the World. Chicago U. Press.
(1994) dissertation on the grammaticization of copulas by Daniel Devitt
 at SUNY Buffalo.

List of respondents:
caoimhinsmo.ac.uk (celtic)
gor05rz.uni-kiel.d400.de (celtic, indo-iranian
rjpensalMIT.EDU (Pama-Nyungan)
Wechslerworld.std.com (Walpiri)
george.huttarSIL.ORG (Murinbata, Dutch)
rhahnu.washington.edu (Turkic)
crudinwscgate.wsc.edu
koontzalpha.bldr.nist.gov
kemmerruf.rice.edu (Yuman, German)
jdbobaljMIT.EDU (Paleo-Siberian)
lveselinemunix.emich.edu (PIE)
mathiasuhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu (Japanese)
RAF100Foduvm.cc.odu.edu (Dutch)
Frits.StuurmanLET.RUU.NL (Dutch)
sanzcgusun.acc.georgetown.edu (Catalan)
falkHUM.HUJI.AC.IL (Hebrew)
ELLGILD%NUSVM.bitnetCUNYVM.CUNY.EDU (Hebrew, Malay)
W.CroftMANCHESTER.AC.UK William Croft

Thanks to all
Adger Williams
adgerwhope.cit.hope.edu
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