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"Tommaso R. Donnarumma" wrote:

> Some of the modern analyses would tell much the same thing with different
> words, i.e. they would take "call Bob" to be a complex (that is compound)
> predicate.  Which leads the way to one obvious question:  do any of you
> know of a natlang where the translational equivalent of "call Bob" would
> be a single compound verb?  And what about conlangs?
>
> In Heichi, where composition is a normal and productive process,
> composition is the most likely choice:  for example, the translation of
> "They made me king" would look like "They king-made me."

In generative grammar, "They made me king" is generally taken to have the
structure:

  [ they made [ me king ] ]

... meaning something like "They caused the situation whereby I am king".

Here, the verb "make" takes "me king" as its complement.  "Me king" is what is
called a 'small clause'.  A small clause is a clause which lacks auxiliaries,
tense, and other inflectional material, and in which the subject ("me" in this
instance) receives its case-marking from a higher verb.  Other examples of small
clauses:

  [ they found [ me sitting on the bed ] ]
  [ they consider [ me stupid ] ]
  [ they made [ her leave town ] ]
  [ they consider [ her the best person for the job ] ]

To show that the object pronoun actually forms a notional constituent with the
following predicate rather than the verb, consider the following contrast:

  [ he wants [ me ] ]
  [ he wants [ me out of his life for good ] ]

In many languages, the predicate of the small clause complement has been argued
to incorporate into the verb.  Thus, the Heichi construction "They king-made me"
seems quite believable.

As for "They call me Bob", it's hard to say whether there's a small clause here.
In "They found me sitting on the bed", the meaning is something like "They found
the situation such that I was sitting on the bed".  However, "They call me Bob"
doesn't exactly mean "They called the situation such that I am Bob".  I'm not
sure how you would treat such cases.

Turning from linguistics to conlangs:  In Tokana, the expression would have the
following form:

  Sa taksam ia Bob
  "They call-me Quot Bob"

Here, _ia_ is a special particle used to introduce quoted material, and to
introduce names and titles in vocative constructions:

  Sa itse ia hio'
  they said Quot yes
  "They said yes"

  N'afa, ia Bob?
  Qu-accompany Quot Bob
  "Are you coming along, Bob?"

Matt.