On Sat, 24 Feb 2001, [iso-8859-1] Jrg Rhiemeier wrote:

> David Stokes <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> > The recent discussion on active languages and related issues got me
> > musing about things in my language  I don't really care whether anyone
> > considers niKmb to be active, split-S, or any such thing. What I want
> > to know is does the system work? Does it make sense?
> >
> > Active/Stative:
> >
> > From what I can tell, in English whether a verb is active or stative is a
> > property inherent in particular words; a verb is either active or
> > stative. But in niKmb stative is treated as an aspect, along with the
> > active aspects progressive, perfective, and inchoative. Theoretically,
> > all verbs can be active or stative, although in practice some may be
> > used more frequently one way or the other.
> I don't see why you treat it as an aspect.  It is an inherent semantic
> property.

Thats the point of my question. Must stative-ness be an inherent semantic
property ? Or is it possible for a word to be used both actively and
statively. In the examples I tried to find ways to use "stative" verbs
actively and "active" verbs statively.

Perhaps I'm picking up some other distinction and calling it by the
wrong name. Or perhaps what I'm trying to do is take two related semantic
ideas, one active one stative, asign both of them to one root, then
distinguish between them with sufixes.

Does any of this make sense, or am I completely messed up and need to
rework the grammar completely?


> > I can come up with examples of verbs used both in active and stative
> > where they might not be exactly grammatical in English, but they do
> > communicate a certain sense.
> >
> > Examples of verbs typically stative in English:
> >
> I see(stative).         v onki.              I can see.
> I see(stative) the dog. v kyuzdli onki.     I the dog is in sight.
> I see(pres, prog) the dog. v kyuzdli onnzu. I am watching the dog.
> I detest(stative) rutabaga.             A statement of fact.
> I detest(pres, prog) rutabaga.          *I am detesting rutabaga.
>                                         -I have a fork in my hand and
>                                         my mother is making me eat.
> (I don't think rutabaga grows where the koKmb live, but thats ok...)
> I own(stative) a house.                 I own a house. - as in English.
> I own(pres, prog) a house.              *I am owning a house. - I am
>                                         doing the chores associated
>                                         with house ownership.
> Examples of verbs typically active in English:
> I run(pres, prog) up the hill.          I am running up the hill.
> lit. I run climb hill.   Ogynzu odbnzu dyatdlglu.
> I run(stative).         Ogyki.         Answer to the question "What do
>                                         you do for exercise?"
> I hunt/farm/build(stative)              I am a hunter/farmer/builder.
> So it seems to me that I can make sense of typically active verbs used
> stativly or typically stative verbs used actively. The resulting
> sentences might not be grammatical in English and would have to be
> translated differently, but they are grammatical in niKmb.
> Agency:
> Another issue is the marking of the subject based on agency. Nouns are
> marked for role as agent(-wa), patient(-ti), goal or beneficiary(-vo)
> or location (-ku). The case of the subject is partially determined by
> the control the subject has over the verb.
> For volitional or controlled actions the subject is in the agent (-wa)
> case.
> For involuntary actions the subject is in the goal or beneficiary (-vo)
> case.
> In voluntary verbs that take -vo subjects are mostly verbs typically
> stative in English: feel, perceive, resemble...
> But there are also some which are typically active in English: fall,
> lose, die...
> This property is inherent in the word. A particular verb can be either
> voluntary or involuntary. Changing the case of the subject is not
> normally productive, but can be used poetically sometimes for special
> effects.
> This property is not linked to active/stative in niKmb because all
> verbs can be either active or stative.
> Nor is this linked with transitive/intransitive verbs. Actually niKmb
> pays little attention to transitivity, although its successor language,
> neSija, might.
> I'd appreciate your comments and advice.
> David Stokes.