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Summary Details


Query:   Comitative
Author:  Timur Maisak
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Syntax
Typology

Summary:   TYPOLOGY OF COMITATIVE: A SUMMARY

ON NOVEMBER 23, 1999 I POSTED A QUERY TO THE LINGUISTLIST (LINGUIST 10.1784.2) CONCERNING COMITATIVE MARKERS.

I'M IMMENSELY GRATEFUL TO ALL THE LINGUISTS WHO ANSWERED ME (BILL MORRIS, LOUISE MCNALLY, LARRY TRASK, GEORGE F. AUBIN, BILL PALMER, MASCHA VASSILIEVA, JOERG KELLER), AS WELL AS TO MY MOSCOW COLLEAGUE VLADIMIR PLUNGIAN, WHO INFORMED ME A LOT ON THE SUBJECT IN QUESTION.

WHAT FOLLOWS IS A SUMMARY OF LETTERS I RECEIVED IN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER, AS WELL AS MY OWN OBSERVATIONS AND THE DATA FROM SOME ANDI (EAST CAUCASIAN) LANGUAGES. SEE FULLER VERSION OF THE SUMMARY AT HTTP://ISABASE.PHILOL.MSU.RU/~TIMIK/COMIT/COMIT.HTML .

0. TYPOLOGY

AS FAR AS I KNOW, COMITATIVES AS GRAMMATICAL CASES EXIST IN A NUMBER OF URALIC, ALTAIC, NAKH-DAGESTANIAN AND DRAVIDIAN LANGUAGES, AS WELL AS IN YUKAGHIR, CHUKOT AND OSETIN (IRANIAN).

THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE MANY SPECIAL WORKS ON THE TYPOLOGY OF COMITATIVE. AN IMPORTANT PAPER IS STOLZ 1993. SEE ALSO SCHLESINGER 1979, URTZ 1994 FOR A SUMMARY OF THE CROSS-LINGUISTIC OCCURENCE OF COMITATIVES. AMONG THE PAPERS DEVOTED TO SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC CHARACTERISTICS OF COMITATIVE CONSTRUCTIONS AS OPPOSED TO 'ORDINARY' NP CO-ORDINATION, SEE SCHWARTZ 1988, MCNALLY 1993, DALRYMPLE ET AL. 1998.

PEOPLE WHO ARE NOW WORKING ON COMITATIVES ARE MASCHA VASSILIEVA (STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT STONY BROOK), ALEKSANRD ARKHIPOV (MOSCOW STATE UNIVERSITY).

1. TERMINOLOGY

1.1. NOMINAL COMITATIVE

BY COMITATIVE I MEAN THE MEANING 'TOGETHER WITH'; I'M INTERESTED PRIMARILY IN NOMINAL MODIFIERS WITH THIS MEANING, BE IT CASE AFFIXES, ADPOSITIONS, PARTICLES ETC.

COMITATIVE MARKERS EXPRESS THE ROLE OF A SECONDARY PARTICIPANT OF A SITUATION: IT IS A PERSON INVOLVED IN THE SITUATION TOGETHER WITH THE MAIN PARTICIPANT (E.G. ''HE CAME WITH A FRIEND'') OR AN OBJECT IN POSSESSION OF THE MAIN CHARACTER (E.G. ''A MAN WITH A GUN'').

IN SIGN LANGUAGES THERE CAN ALSO BE COMITATIVE MARKERS: JOERG KELLER (JOERG.KELLER@SIGN-LANG.UNI-HAMBURG.DE) HAS INFORMED ME THAT HE HAS COME ACROSS SUCH A MARKER IN GERMAN SIGN LANGUAGE.

1.2. VERBAL COMITATIVE // ASSOCIATIVE

THERE CAN ALSO BE VERBAL MODIFIERS WITH THE COMITATIVE MEANING, THOUGH SUCH MARKERS ARE USUALLY CALLED ''ASSOCIATIVES'', NOT ''COMITATIVES''.

WHAT I MEAN HERE IS A VALENCE-INCREASING OPERATION, MARKING A SECONDARY PARTICIPANT OF A SITUATION (WITH THE SAME ROLE AS THE MAIN ONE).

IN INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGES THIS MEANING IS SOMETIMES EXPRESSED WITH VERBAL PREFIXES, CF. LATIN CON-CLAMARE 'TO SHOUT TOGETHER', RUSSIAN SO-UCHASTVOVAT' 'TO PARTICIPATE TOGETHER' AND SO ON. THESE PREFIXES ARE UNDOUBTEDLY OF THE SAME ORIGIN AS THE CORRESPONDING COMITATIVE PREPOSITIONS MEANING 'WITH'.

ASSOCIATIVE MARKERS ARE ALSO ATTESTED IN AUSTRONESIAN, ABKHAZ-ADYGHE AND A NUMBER OF OTHER LANGUAGES.

2. MEANING OF COMITATIVE MARKERS

APART FROM THE MEANING 'TOGETHER WITH', COMITATIVES ARE OFTEN USED WITH INSTRUMENTIAL MEANING.

AS BILL MORRIS (WMORRIS@CS.UCSD.EDU) INFORMED ME, SCHLESINGER 1979 DISCUSSES AN EXPERIMENT WITH A NUMBER OF NATIVE SPEAKERS OF VARIOUS LANGUAGES THAT HAD BOTH COMITATIVE AND INSTRUMENTAL CASES OR MARKERS, AND SHOWS THAT VARIOUS LANGUAGES HAVE QUITE DIFFERENT TRANSITION POINTS BETWEEN THE TWO CASES ON A RANGE OF SENTENCES. (FOR INSTANCE, IN THE SENTENCE ''THE GENERAL CAPTURED THE HILL WITH A SQUAD OF SOLDIERS'', IS ''THE SQUAD OF SOLDIERS'' MARKED AS INSTRUMENTALS COMITATIVES?)

A SECONDARY INSTRUMENTAL MEANING IS CHARACTERISTIC FOR COMITATIVE PREPOSITIONS IN SAE LANGUAGES (COMPARE ENGLISH WITH, FRENCH AVEC, PORTUGUESE COM, RUSSIAN S, ETC.).

3. DIACHRONIC SOURCES

I COULDN'T FIND OUT MUCH ABOUT DIACHRONIC SOURCES OF COMITATIVES. COMITATIVE CASE MARKERS USUALLY DEVELOP, AS EXPECTED, FROM ADPOSITIONS, BUT IT STILL REMAINS UNCLEAR IF THESE ARE ALWAYS ADPOSITIONS WITH COMITATIVE MEANING AND WHAT MAY BE THE ORIGIN OF SUCH ADPOSITIONS THEMSELVES.

LEHMANN (1995:112) SUGGESTS THE FOLLOWING GRAMMATICALIZATION CHAIN FOR COMITATIVE CASES:
COMITATIVE --> INSTRUMENTAL --> EGRATIVE --> NOMINATIVE.

HERE IS ALSO AN EXAMPLE OF THE ANALYSIS OF A COMITATIVE MARKER'S INNER STRUCTURE IN BASQUE.

3.1. COMITATIVE IN BASQUE

AS LARRY TRASK (LARRYT@COGS.SUSX.AC.UK) FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX INFORMED ME, THE BASQUE COMITATIVE MARKER, WHICH IS A CASE-SUFFIX <-EKIN>, HAS THE FOLLOWING ORIGIN: IT IS A REDUCED FORM OF A FULL POSTPOSITIONAL PHRASE

*<-E KIDE-N> OR *<-EN -KIDE-A-N> 'IN THE COMPANY OF',
WHERE
- THE FIRST ELEMENT IS AN OLD GENITIVE SUFFIX,
- THE STEM <-KIDE> IS AN ELEMENT WHICH IN THE MODERN LANGUAGE CHIEFLY FUNCTIONS AS A - - - NOUN-FORMING SUFFIX MEANING 'FELLOW', 'MATE', 'COMPANION',
- AND THE FINAL ELEMENT IS THE ORDINARY LOCATIVE CASE-SUFFIX <-N> 'IN, ON, AT'.

SO THE WHOLE THING IS GENITIVE <-E> OR <-EN> 'OF' PLUS <-KIDE>, APPARENTLY HERE IN THE SENSE OF 'COMPANY', PLUS LOCATIVE <-N> 'IN'. THE ORDINARY ARTICLE <-A> 'THE' MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN PRESENT AFTER <-KIDE> IN THE ORIGINAL FORMATION.

4. TRANSCATEGORIAL USES

GENERALLY, BY ''TRANSCATEGORIALITY'' I MEAN THE POSSIBILITY OF THE SAME GRAMMATICAL MARKER TO OCCUR WITH DIFFERENT WORD CLASSES (NOUNS, VERBS, ADJECTIVES, ETC.). THIS IS USUALLY A PROPERTY OF AGGLUTINATIVE AFFIXES, WHICH HAVE GREATER DEGREE OF FORMAL AUTONOMY IN COMPARISON TO AFFIXES IN FUSIONAL LANGUAGES.

USUALLY TRANSCATEGORIAL MARKERS APPEAR, WHEN A MODIFIER OF ONE WORD CLASS BECOMES A MODIFIER OF SOME OTHER CLASS (VIA REANALYSIS). HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES.

4.1. COMITATIVE IN SONGAI
ACCORDING TO VLADIMIR PLUNGIAN (P.C.), IN SONGAI (NILO-SAHARAN) COMITATIVE PREPOSITION -NDA HAS EVOLVED INTO A VERBAL SUFFIX WWHICH MAKES THE VERB TRANSITIVE.

4.2. COMITATIVE IN OJIBWA
GEORGE F. AUBIN (GAUBIN@EVE.ASSUMPTION.EDU) HAS INFORMED ME ABOUT A PARTICLE, WIIJI- / WIIJ- WITH THE MEANING 'WITH, IN COMPANY WITH' IN OJIBWA (ALGONQUIAN). IT OCCURS BEFORE BOTH NOUNS AND VERBS, AS IN THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLES:

1) PRENOUN PARTICLE:
WIIJII-WAAGAN ''COMPANION, PARTNER''

2) PREVERB PARTICLE:
NI-WIIJI-GIMAA ''I AM THE SAME AGE AS SOMEONE''
NI-WIIJI-GAMIGISHKAWAA ''I AM A NEIGHBOR TO SOMEONE''

THERE ARE NUMEROUS EXAMPLES IN THE FOLLOWING DICTIONARIES: BARAGA 1992, NICHOLS & NYHOLM 1995.

4.3. COMITATIVE IN KOKOTA

AS BILL PALMER (PALMER_BILL@HOTMAIL.COM) FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC INFORMED ME, IN KOKOTA (AUSTRONESIAN - OCEANIC - NORTH WEST SOLOMONIC) THERE IS A COMITATIVE MARKER TAREME-, WHICH IS ''BOTH FUNCTIONALLY AND FORMALLY ATYPICAL IN THE LANGUAGE''. (SEE LYNCH ET
AL. (IN PRESS), PALMER 1999.)

IT IS INTERESTING, THAT WHILE ROOTS IN KOKOTA ARE ALMOST ALWAYS DISYLLABIC AND GRAMMATICAL PARTICLES ARE ALMOST ALWAYS MONOSYLLABIC, THE ROOT OF THE COMITATIVE MARKER IS TRISYLLABIC, INDICATING THAT IT HAD MORPHOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY UNTIL RELATIVELY RECENTLY.

THE FIRST SYLLABLE TA- IS FORMALLY IDENTICAL WITH THE LANGUAGE'S CLAUSE DEPENDENCY MARKER. SUBORDINATE CLAUSES IN KOKOTA ARE VERB INITIAL, AND THE SUBORDINATOR TA- OFTEN CLITICISES TO THE VERB. THIS ALL SUGGESTS THAT THE ORIGIN OF THE COMITATIVE MARKER IS A A NOMINALISED ADVERBIAL SUBORDINATE CLAUSE IN WHICH THE SUBORDINATOR WAS CLITICISED TO A VERB ROOT *REME (THIS ROOT NO LONGER EXISTS IN SYNCHRONIC KOKOTA). THIS ''SUBORIDNATOR + VERB'' WAS THEN REANALYSED AS A GRAMMATICAL PARTICLE - A RELATIONAL NOUN, WITH THE OLD ARGUMENT OF *REME BEING REANALYSED AS THE COMPLEMENT OF THE RELATIONAL NOUN.

A SPECIAL CASE OF TRANSCATEGORIAL COMITATIVE IS ALSO ATTESTED IN SOME LANGAGES OF DAGESTAN.

5. COMITATIVES IN THE AVAR-ANDI GROUP

AMONG THE NAKH-DAGESTANIAN LANGUAGES (EAST CAUCASIAN), COMITATIVE AS A GRAMMATICAL CASE IS ATTESTED IN INGUSH, DARGWA, RUTUL, TSAKHUR, ARCHI, BUDUKH, AND KHINALUGH.

WHAT IS EVEN MORE INTERESTING, IN SOME NAKH-DAGESTANIAN LANGUAGES THERE EXIST MARKERS WHICH CAN OCCUR BOTH WITH NPS (FUNCTIONING AS COMITATIVE MARKERS) AND WHOLE ADJUNCT CLAUSES (FUNCTIONING AS DEPENDENCY MARKERS). ALL THESE LANGUAGES ARE FROM AVAR-ANDI GROUP, AND THEY DON'T HAVE COMITATIVE CASES. THE MARKERS IN QUESTION ARE PARTICLES RATHER THAN AFFIXES.

SUCH PARTICLES ARE MENTIONED AT LEAST FOR AVAR (-GUN / -GIN; SEE BOKAREV 1949A), CHAMALAL (-C^A / -LA-C^A; SEE BOKAREV 1949B) AND GODOBERI (-L^I / -LA-L^I; SEE KIBRIK (ED.) 1996), AND TWO PARTICLES OF THE SAME KIND (-E:NA / -L-E:NA) WERE DISCOVERED IN THE KVANADA DIALECT OF BAGULAL DURING THE FIELD EXPEDITION HELD IN 1995 AND 1997-98 BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS OF MOSCOW STATE UNIVERSITY. THESE PARTICLES IN ALL LANGUAGES HAVE DIFFERENT ORIGIN, BUT IT SEEMS THAT ALL OF THEM REPRESENT DIACHRONICALLY A COMBINATION OF THE COORDINATOR 'AND' (-LA IN THREE ANDI LANGUAGES) WITH SOME OTHER MARKER.

UNFORTUNATELY, MOST OF THE ANDI LANGUAGES ARE POORLY DESCRIBED, AND MUCH IS UNCLEAR ABOUT THIS PHENOMENON. IT SEEMS THAT THE NP-COMITATIVE IS SECONDARY AND IT APPEARED AFTER AN ELLIPSIS OF THE IDENTICAL VERBAL FORM IN ADJUNCT CLAUSE (WITH DEPENDENCY MARKER BEING REANALYSED AS NP MARKER).

THE REASON FOR POSTING A QUERY TO THE LIST WAS THAT I WANTED (AND STILL WANT) TO KNOW IF THERE ARE SIMILAR COMITATIVE-LIKE MARKERS IN OTHER LANGUAGES, AND WHAT ARE POSSIBLE GRAMMATICALIZATION PATHS OF COMITATIVES.

THE DATA FROM KOKOTA MENTIONED ABOVE SHOW THAT COMITATIVE MARKERS SOMETIMES DO EVOLVE FROM CLAUSE DEPENDENCY MARKERS. THE DATA FROM ANDI LANGUAGES MAY GIVE FURTHER EVIDENCE CONFIRMING THAT THIS IS A TYPOLOGICALLY RELEVANT PATH OF DEVELOPMENT.

6. REFERENCES

BARAGA, FREDERIC (1992 [1878, 1880]). A DICTIONARY OF THE OJIBWAY LANGUAGE. SAINT PAUL: MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESS.

BOKAREV A. A. (1949A). SINTAKSIS AVARSKOGO JAZYKA. {= AVAR SYNTAX.} MOSKVA-LENINGRAD

BOKAREV A. A. (1949B). OCHERK GRAMMATIKI CHAMALINSKOGO JAZYKA. {= A GRAMMAR OF CHAMALAL.} MOSKVA-LENINGRAD

DALRYMPLE, MARY ET AL. (1998). THE SEMANTICS OF THE RUSSIAN COMITATIVE CONSTRUCTION // NATURAL LANGUAGE AND LINGUISTIC THEORY, VOL. 16: 597-631

KIBRIK (ED.) (1996). GODOBERI. LINCOM EUROPA.

LEHMANN, CHRISTIAN (1995). THOUGHTS ON GRAMMATICALIZATION. LINCOM EUROPA. (REVISED EDITION)

LYNCH, J, ROSS, MD, AND CROWLEY, T, (IN PRESS), ''THE OCEANIC LANGUAGES.'' LONDON: CURZON.

MCNALLY, LOUISE (1993). COMITATIVE COORDINATION: A CASE STUDY IN GROUP FORMATION // NATURAL LANGUAGE AND LINGUISTIC THEORY, VOL. 11: 347-379

NICHOLS, JOHN, & EARL NYHOLM (1995). A CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MINNESOTA OJIBWE. MINNEAPOLIS: UNIV. OF MINNESOTA PRESS.

PALMER, BILL (1999). A GRAMMAR OF THE KOKOTA LANGUAGE, SANTA ISABEL, SOLOMON ISLANDS. UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: PHD THESIS.

SCHLESINGER, ITZCHAK M. (1979). COGNITIVE AND LINGUISTIC STRUCTURES: THE CASE OF THE INSTRUMENTAL. JOURNAL OF LINGUISTICS 15, 307-324.

SCHWARTZ, LINDA (1998). CONDITIONS FOR VERB-CODED COORDINATIONS // HAMMOND M., MORAVCSIK E. (EDS.) STUDIES IN SYNTACTIC TYPOLOGY. AMSTERDAM, BEHJAMINS

STOLZ, THOMAS (1993). UBER KOMITATIVE (PROPRINS. ARBEITSPAPIERE DES PROJEKTES ''PRINZIPIEN DES SPRACHWANDELS'', NR. 24)

URTZ, BERNARDETTE (1994). THE SYNTAX, SEMANTICS AND PRAGMATICS OF A NOMINAL CONJUNCTION - THE CASE OF RUSSIAN ''S''. PHD THESIS, HARVARD

SEE FULLER VERSION OF THE SUMMARY AT HTTP://ISABASE.PHILOL.MSU.RU/~TIMIK/COMIT/COMIT.HTML


TIMUR MAISAK
OTIPL@MAIL.RU

DEPARTMENT OF THEORETICAL AND APPLIED LINGUISTICS
MOSCOW STATE UNIVERSITY

LL Issue: 11.198
Date Posted: 31-Jan-2000
Original Query: Read original query