On Fri, 21 Jul 2000, The Gray Wizard wrote:

> > From: BP Jonsson
> >
> > At 06:22 21.7.2000 -0400, The Gray Wizard wrote:
> >
> > >Since I have effectively created a [SHOEBOX] tagged thread here, I have a
> > >question for other Shoeboxers out there.  amman iar has an auxiliary verb
> > >form that is semantically empty, serving only to specify the grammatical
> > >usage (mood [prefix], aspect[infix], tense [suffix]) of the
> > lexical verb and
> > >as such has no root form, only affixes.  Shoebox will refuse to
> > parse a word
> > >without a root.  As a work around I have arbitrarily selected
> > the mood affix
> > >(which is always required and happens to be a prefix) as the
> > root form.  Is
> > >there a better way to do this?
> >
> > Does the verb actually not *have* a root, or is it that being semantically
> > empty it cannot really be glossed?
> No, the auxiliary actually does not have a root, but consists solely of the
> mood, aspect and tense inflections.
> for example:
> The boy is eating the soup.
> \t ir  adanisse         eliras                 im  mastmear-0
> \m i   adan =is    -e   el        -ir   -as    in  masad - mear   -0
> \g the man  =small -[A] assertive -prog -pres  to  food  - liquid -[P]
> \p DET N    =DIM   -ERG MOOD      -ASP  -TENSE PTP N     - N      -ABS
> \f the boy              is                     to  soup
> \t ervathiel
> \m er-  matho -ie      -l
> \g do-  eat   -agt/thm -actn
> \p AGT- V     -VAL     -VC
> \f eat
> In the sentence, all of the semantic content is in the lexical verb
> "ervathiel".  The auxiliary "eliras" is both semantically empty and rootless
> consisting of the mood prefix el-, the aspect suffix -ir, and the tense
> suffix -as.  Only the aspect affix is optional.  Shoebox forces me to define
> one of these (I chose the mood prefix) as a root.

Do the auxiliary affixes occur on any other forms? If not, I don't see
why it would be a problem to simply call the mood "prefix" the root of
auxiliary affixation.

Here's another question: do these auxiliaries come in a specific place
in the sentence, say second position? If so, then what you may have is
a clitic chain rather than the bona fide lexical category of
Auxiliary. I don't know Shoebox, so I can't tell you how it would
handle clitics but I assume it would be able to do that since SIL
deals with many languages with well-established clitic inventories.

> David


Dirk Elzinga
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