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 Post subject: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:04 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:07 pm 
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I hadn't actually considered that rule for #3, and otherwise I agree there entirely.

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 Post subject: Re: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:57 am 
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Korovev's summary got me to thinking about the sentences in D'ni that seem to have a "passive" meaning when translated into English, but which don't have either of the "passive" suffixes -in or -ij.

One of these is the "by-line" on Aitrus's Map, which we hypothesized long ago to read shuhlen te telookahm aytruhs and to possibly translate as "drawn by Guildsman Aitrus."

I took another look at the map itself to refresh my memory, and noticed (as I think has been noticed before) that the letters in this part of the map are in a slightly different style from those in the captions throughout the rest of it; in particular the distinction between "straight" stems and "curved" stems is more subtle, because they all have some curvature at the top. Also considering the fuller vocabulary that we now have, I think that what this line actually says is:

sholen te telookahm aytruhs 'prepared by Guildsman Aitrus'.

Shorah


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 Post subject: Re: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:39 pm 
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This raises the obvious question of why an idea that is typically expressed by a “passive” in English seems to be conveyed in D’ni without any explicit indication of this passivity in the verb construction? A clue to the answer lies in another text on the map.

The verb form doreesloen means literally ‘he/she/it is dissolving’ which is used transitively in the sentence where it occurs, with a direct object “the rock’s outer layer.” The 3rd person singular subject ending refers back to the preceding clauses in the sentence which describe a lizard that spits acidic saliva. Presumably one or both of the following are valid Dni sentences: rem’lah reesloen prad ‘the lizard dissolves rock’; poahnton reesloen prad ‘its saliva dissolves rock’.

In the following sentence on the map, about the lizard drinking the resulting solution of saliva and rock, the same verb is used in another form lereesloeet which means literally ‘they have dissolved’. This is an intransitive usage of the verb, so there is no object, and it is in a relative clause introduced by mot; but the subject ‘they’ clearly refers to “the minerals, plants, and small organisms” mentioned immediately before, which the lizard drinks along with its saliva. Again presumably it would be valid to say re’irvantee lereesloeet ‘the minerals have dissolved’; and most likely also re’irvantee lereesloeet trepoahnt ‘the minerals have dissolved in the saliva’.

The crucial point of course is the way the clause mot lereesloeet was translated into English idiom: “that have been dissolved.” And if we translate the literal sentence re’irvantee lereesloeet trepoahnt ‘the minerals have dissolved in the saliva’ using a similar English idiom we get: “the minerals have been dissolved by the saliva.” From the D’ni persective the two English translations (active vs. passive) do not convey a siginificant difference in meaning, and so D’ni does not make a distinction.

Shorah


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 Post subject: Re: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:36 pm 
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Wait, would that mean that D’ni is ergative-absolutive?

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 Post subject: Re: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:19 am 
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There is no case-indicator to differentiate "ergative" (agent subject) from "absolute" (object or patient subject); so no, D'ni does not seem to be an ergative-absolute language in the usual sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:05 am 
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While the distinction between transitive and intransitive might serve for a substantial class of D’ni verbs to differentiate what is expressed by “active” vs. “passive” in English; there would still be contexts where one cannot tell whether the intended construction is transitive or intransitive and this would need to be expressed by another distinction. One example is a verbal adjective or “participle” used to characterize a noun.

Thus we might have poahnt reesloahl ‘dissolving saliva’ vs. prad reesloin ‘dissolved rock’. Also note that the former can be expanded to poahnt pradreesloahl ‘rock-dissolving saliva’. So apparently the “active” participle phrase with suffix -ahl corresponds to the transitive sentence poahnt reesloen prad ‘saliva dissolves rock’, and the “passive” participle phrase with suffix -in corresponds to the intransitive sentence prad reesloen ‘rock dissolves’.

Shorah


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 Post subject: Re: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:24 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:07 am 
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I agree with Talashar. What I have described so far can only be part of the picture. Many verbs are like reeslo in that the subject of an intransitive construction corresponds in function with the object of a transitive construction. But there are also verbs in D’ni where intransitive subjects function the way we would expect transitive subjects to function as well.

For example rehevo kroen gahreesen gahederen terthtes ‘the swarm moves, eats, and sleeps as a group’. Clearly reesen used intransitively cannot be translated “is eaten.” The question then is how does D’ni distinguish the transitive use of a verb like reesen from the transitive use of a verb like reesloen where they seem to have “opposite” meanings in relation to the corresponding intransitives.

Again the answer can be found in the sentences on the map. Another verb that we might expect to behave like reesen ‘eats’ is glahsen ‘drinks’ and we have a sentence that begins: gormot glahsen ahrepoahnt translated “it then drinks the saliva.” The D’ni is similar in syntax to the English translation except for the fact that the object ahrepoahnt begins with a preposition ah.

It is difficult to explain the meanng of this preposition, except that it goes with the noun that is the direct object in the English translation, and that it is used when the object could be left out and the verb would still have the same meaning. An example of a verb used both with and without an object is rem in pod rehmehn ah lehm ‘each flows ink’ vs. rekooahn remen ‘the stream flows’.

A verb in this subclass could not be used in its intransitive construction as a "passive" in the way other verbs can, and so there might have developed a special way of expressing a similar concept, which we should not expect to automatically apply to all verbs. The verb gel 'write' may belong to this subclass, so dolgelenij might be an example.

Shorah


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 Post subject: Re: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:31 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:59 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:52 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Passives in D’ni
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:01 pm 
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