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quadrivalent verb

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  • Kenneth Asad
    Hi all. I am wondering, is there any natlang - or for that matter conlang - that has some quadrivalent verbs? I am thinking about a type of verbs which has
    Message 1 of 24 , Sep 29, 2008
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      Hi all.

      I am wondering, is there any natlang - or for that matter conlang - that has
      some quadrivalent verbs?

      I am thinking about a type of verbs which has four arguements:
      an agent; a patient; a recipient; and then something fourth.

      I would imagine that quadrivalency would describe some kind of exchance.
      In fact I am thinking about an example from the english language:

      he sold the book to her for 20 bucks

      Now:
      "he" is definitely the agent - and in fact also the subject;
      "the book" is definitely the patient;
      "her = she" is the recipient and is supplied with an adposition (= preposition).
      Now:
      as to "20 bucks"...
      Well, it has an adposition :-) but so did "she" and this didn't stop "she" from
      being the recipient...
      As I see it, one could see "20 bucks" as being 'the exchange patient', or
      something like that.

      I haven't been able to find any other instances in english, nor my own native
      danish.

      In fact in danish the sentence would be:

      han solgte bogen til hende for 20 spir

      What I'm not thinking about, though, is something like the causative voice.
    • deinx nxtxr
      ... Check out Lojban. Some definitions that are pentavalent.
      Message 2 of 24 , Sep 29, 2008
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        > [mailto:CONLANG@...] On Behalf Of Kenneth Asad

        > I am wondering, is there any natlang - or for that matter
        > conlang - that has some quadrivalent verbs?
        >
        > I am thinking about a type of verbs which has four arguements:
        > an agent; a patient; a recipient; and then something fourth.

        Check out Lojban. Some definitions that are pentavalent.
      • Larry Sulky
        But those Lojban/Loglan pentavalents seem forced, don t you think, Dana? I think Kenneth s example is one of the few that legitimately deserve to be called
        Message 3 of 24 , Sep 29, 2008
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          But those Lojban/Loglan pentavalents seem forced, don't you think, Dana? I
          think Kenneth's example is one of the few that legitimately deserve to be
          called quadrivalent; other verbs that imply an exchange of something for
          value would also qualify.
        • Eldin Raigmore
          On Mon, 29 Sep 2008 12:05:45 -0400, Kenneth Asad ... This has been discussed rather thoroughly recently, whether it was on Conlang or on the ZBB or on the CBB
          Message 4 of 24 , Sep 29, 2008
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            On Mon, 29 Sep 2008 12:05:45 -0400, Kenneth Asad
            <kenneth_asad@...> wrote:
            >I am wondering, is there any natlang - or for that matter conlang - that has
            >some quadrivalent verbs?
            >I am thinking about a type of verbs which has four arguements:
            >an agent; a patient; a recipient; and then something fourth.
            >I would imagine that quadrivalency would describe some kind of exchance.
            >In fact I am thinking about an example from the english language:
            >
            > he sold the book to her for 20 bucks
            >
            >Now:
            >"he" is definitely the agent - and in fact also the subject;
            >"the book" is definitely the patient;
            >"her = she" is the recipient and is supplied with an adposition (= preposition).
            >Now:
            >as to "20 bucks"...
            >Well, it has an adposition :-) but so did "she" and this didn't stop "she" from
            >being the recipient...
            >As I see it, one could see "20 bucks" as being 'the exchange patient', or
            >something like that.
            >I haven't been able to find any other instances in english, nor my own native
            >danish.
            >In fact in danish the sentence would be:
            > han solgte bogen til hende for 20 spir
            >What I'm not thinking about, though, is something like the causative voice.

            This has been discussed rather thoroughly recently, whether it was on Conlang
            or on the ZBB or on the CBB I can't remember.

            Google for "Tritransitive".
            Afterwards, separately Google for "Tetravalent Verb" or "Quadrivalent Verb"
            or "Tetravalent Linguistics" or something like that.

            Here's a summary of the majority opinions.

            Most languages have either two or three grammatical relations. For some
            languages it looks like we'll never be able to agree whether they have two or
            three.

            A grammatical (or syntactic) relation (or function) is occupied by something
            that's also called a "core argument". If the verb has other arguments they are
            called "oblique arguments".

            Another phrase some grammarians use for "grammatical relation",
            is "morphosyntacically-assigned argument position" or "M.A.P.".

            The syntactically most-privileged, and/or most syntactically-privileged, MAP is
            called the Subject. All the others (if there are any) are called Objects.

            The syntactically most-privileged, and/or most syntactically-privileged, Object,
            is called the Primary Object or the Direct Object. All the others (if there are
            any) are called Secondary Objects.

            Many languages have ditransitive verbs -- verbs with two Objects (and hence
            three Core Arguments, since the Subject is a Core Argument but not an
            Object). One of the objects is the Primary (or Direct) Object and the other is
            the Secondary Object.

            For most languages which have ditransitive verbs, ditransitive verbs are a
            minority; there are fewer of them than there are of monotransitive verbs, and
            fewer of them than there are of intransitive verbs.

            Many languages also have verbs which are (syntactically) bivalent -- having
            two core arguments -- but not (semantically and pragmatically) transitive;
            that is, the two core arguments are not clearly an Agent and a Patient.

            Many languages have "valency-raising operations", processes that can
            transform a verb in such a way that it adds a new core argument to the verb.

            Among these are Applicativization -- adding an object -- and Causativization --
            which adds an "agent of cause" or "instigator" (demoting the "original" agent
            to "agent of effect" or "causee").

            If one of these valency-raising operations is applied to a bivalent verb, the
            result will be a trivalent verb.

            The most common valency-raising operations to be applied to bivalent verbs to
            turn them into trivalent verbs, are Benefactive Applicativization, and
            Causativization.

            For some languages, trivalent verbs arise in no other way. But for most
            languages, a minority of their verb-roots are already trivalent in their root
            forms.

            For some languages, it is possible to either Applicativize or Causativize a
            trivalent verb in such a way that the resulting verb is tetravalent; or to
            Applicativize or Causativize a ditransitive verb in such a way that the resulting
            verb is tritransitive.

            For some languages with Causativization, it is possible to causativize a clause
            which has already been causativized. For instance, Hindi has two different
            morphological causativization processes, one for direct causativization and one
            for indirect causativization; they can both be applied to the same verb, one
            after the other, resulting in a clause with three agents; an Instigator, a
            Causee, and a Middle Agent.

            Also, some languages have both Causativization and Benefactive
            Applicativization. In some such languages it is possible to perform both
            operations on the same verb.

            If the "original" verb is bivalent, then Causativizing it twice may result in a
            tetravalent verb.

            If the "original" verb is bivalent, then both Causativizing it and Applicativizing it
            may result in a tetravalent verb.

            For some languages, there are no trivalent verbs at all. For some, all trivalent
            verbs arise by causativizing or applicativizing bivalent verbs. For most
            languages, there are several verb roots that are already trivalent verbs in their
            root forms, but such verb-roots are definitely a minority.

            For some languages, there are no tetravalent verbs at all. For some, all
            tetravalent verbs arise by causativizing or applicativizing trivalent verbs. For
            some languages, there are a few verb roots that are already tetavalent verbs
            in their root forms.

            But most languages that have any tetravalent verb-roots have only a tiny
            number of them. For most languages that have tetravalent verbs, most
            tetravalent verbs arise by applicativizing or causativizing a verb that is already
            trivalent.

            -------------------------------------------

            As for English tetravalent verbs; maybe "bet" is a good one?

            -------------------------------------------

            You would probably enjoy learning a little about something called Relational
            Grammar.

            As a theory to explain all languages, it has fallen out of favor, because there
            are some languages that can't be explained by it.

            But as a framework for presenting the facts of a newly-described language, it
            remains in favor, because very many newly-described languages can be
            understandably described that way.

            I mention this because some modern theories, for instance "Mapping Theory"
            (which is the one that introduced the MAPs mentioned above), attempt to
            remedy the flaws of RG while retaining its virtues.

            Some linguists don't think Grammatical Relations (such as Subjects and
            Objects) are really any use at all in any language. Some think they are useful
            in some languages and not in others. Some think they are useful in nearly
            every language.

            -------------------------------------------------

            It is controversial whether or not there are any languages with no GRs at all.

            Among people who admit that some languages do have GRs:

            It appears that a few languages -- Tagalog, for one -- have only one GR, the
            Subject. Some linguists think some of these languages don't even have
            Subjects; other linguists think every language has at least one GR (the
            Subject). (Note, though, that saying every language has a Subject, does not
            imply that every clause in every language has a Subject. Some languages
            with Subjects also have some clauses without Subjects, by some analyses.)

            Most languages have either a Subject and an Object, or a Subject and two
            Objects. There are some major, well-studied languages, for which it is still
            controversial whether or not they have two Object GRs (e.g. Direct and
            Indirect) or only one Object GR.

            Apparently, a few languages -- including some spoken in Georgia, and some
            spoken in the Caucasus -- have four GRs; a Subject, a Primary Object, and
            two different kinds of Secondary Object.

            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

            I hope that helps!
          • Mark J. Reed
            ... There must be some with even more parameters than that, aren t there? But I don t think Lojban or similar loglangs really count in this regard. They try
            Message 5 of 24 , Sep 29, 2008
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              On Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 1:57 PM, deinx nxtxr <deinx.nxtxr@...> wrote:
              > Check out Lojban. Some definitions that are pentavalent.

              There must be some with even more parameters than that, aren't there?
              But I don't think Lojban or similar loglangs really count in this
              regard. They try to account for all possible arguments as explicit
              parameters, whereas most languages just use generic tack-on modifiers
              that aren't tied to a specific verb.

              --
              Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
            • Philip Newton
              ... So recast: He sold her the book for 20 bucks . Now her has no adposition! Cheers, -- Philip Newton
              Message 6 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                On Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 18:05, Kenneth Asad <kenneth_asad@...> wrote:
                > In fact I am thinking about an example from the english language:
                >
                > he sold the book to her for 20 bucks
                >
                > Now:
                > "he" is definitely the agent - and in fact also the subject;
                > "the book" is definitely the patient;
                > "her = she" is the recipient and is supplied with an adposition (= preposition).
                > Now:
                > as to "20 bucks"...
                > Well, it has an adposition :-) but so did "she" and this didn't stop "she" from
                > being the recipient...

                So recast: "He sold her the book for 20 bucks". Now "her" has no adposition!

                Cheers,
                --
                Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
              • Philip Newton
                ... Hm, compelling. For example, [I] bet [you] [20 bucks] [he s not coming] . Cheers, -- Philip Newton
                Message 7 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                  On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 00:54, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...> wrote:
                  > As for English tetravalent verbs; maybe "bet" is a good one?

                  Hm, compelling.

                  For example, "[I] bet [you] [20 bucks] [he's not coming]".

                  Cheers,
                  --
                  Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
                • Philip Newton
                  ... Only implicitly; the list of root words has no more than five explicit arguments for any relation, but in a couple of words, one of the arguments
                  Message 8 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                    On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 04:23, Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...> wrote:
                    > On Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 1:57 PM, deinx nxtxr <deinx.nxtxr@...> wrote:
                    >> Check out Lojban. Some definitions that are pentavalent.
                    >
                    > There must be some with even more parameters than that, aren't there?

                    Only implicitly; the list of root words has no more than five explicit
                    arguments for any relation, but in a couple of words, one of the
                    arguments (typically/always(?) the last) can in fact be an arbitrary
                    number of arguments -- the examples that come to mind are ones with
                    hierarchies, e.g. "A is a [kind of animal] of breed B, species C,
                    genus D, family E, order F, class G, phylum H, kingdom I, domain J",
                    though I doubt that these are much used with all possible places
                    filled.

                    ...in fact, now that I've briefly scanned the list of _gismu_, I can
                    only find two with open-ended place structures: {jutsi} "x1 is a
                    species of genus x2, family x3, etc.; [open-ended tree-structure
                    categorization]" and {du} "identity selbri; = sign; x1 identically
                    equals x2, x3, etc.; attached sumti refer to same thing". I would have
                    thought there'd be one for, say, political hierarchies ("A is a
                    village in township B, county C, state D, country E" or the like).

                    The limit of five explicit arguments to root words is also, no doubt,
                    related to the fact that there are only five basic words (fa fe fi fo
                    fu) for explicitly assigning an argument slot to a word. (Though
                    additional ones are possible through subscripting: {fa xi ze}
                    "1st.sumti.place subscript 7", for example, would make the following
                    argument the seventh argument of its relation; the choice of {fa} for
                    the initial word of the phrase is arbitrary and it could have been one
                    of the four others, too.)

                    Also, arguments beyond the second or third tend to be rare in Lojban;
                    perhaps an effect of people whose native languages tend to have only
                    two or three core arguments and who are more used to adding additional
                    arguments with adpositions. {vecnu} "buy; sell" is perhaps the most
                    frequently-seen with four arguments (seller, goods, buyer, amount).

                    Cheers,
                    --
                    Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
                  • Eugene Oh
                    This is much different from the book sale example. The clause he s not coming should not qualify because it is missing an optional that in front, whereas
                    Message 9 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                      This is much different from the book sale example. The clause "he's not
                      coming" should not qualify because it is missing an optional "that" in
                      front, whereas "her" in the book sale example was genuinely promoted via a
                      syntactic switch to fulfill the same purpose as the preposition.
                      And, since the preposition "to" qualifies in argument-defining, the
                      preposition "for" should also qualify.

                      Eugene

                      On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 4:06 PM, Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>wrote:

                      > On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 00:54, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...>
                      > wrote:
                      > > As for English tetravalent verbs; maybe "bet" is a good one?
                      >
                      > Hm, compelling.
                      >
                      > For example, "[I] bet [you] [20 bucks] [he's not coming]".
                      >
                      > Cheers,
                      > --
                      > Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
                      >
                    • Mark J. Reed
                      On the one hand, I m not sure the that qualifies as an adposition here. If you plop a clause into any other argument slot, you need a that , even if it s
                      Message 10 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                        On the one hand, I'm not sure the "that" qualifies as an adposition
                        here. If you plop a clause into any other argument slot, you need a
                        "that", even if it's not acting as a conjunction:

                        "That he's not coming is assured" - Subject

                        On the other, you can't put anything *but* a clause into the alleged
                        fourth argument slot of "bet", whereas the other three can have
                        arbitrary pronoun/noun phrases. Which makes me think it's not really
                        an argument slot.


                        On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 8:34 AM, Eugene Oh <un.doing@...> wrote:
                        > This is much different from the book sale example. The clause "he's not
                        > coming" should not qualify because it is missing an optional "that" in
                        > front, whereas "her" in the book sale example was genuinely promoted via a
                        > syntactic switch to fulfill the same purpose as the preposition.
                        > And, since the preposition "to" qualifies in argument-defining, the
                        > preposition "for" should also qualify.
                        >
                        > Eugene
                        >
                        > On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 4:06 PM, Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>wrote:
                        >
                        >> On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 00:54, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...>
                        >> wrote:
                        >> > As for English tetravalent verbs; maybe "bet" is a good one?
                        >>
                        >> Hm, compelling.
                        >>
                        >> For example, "[I] bet [you] [20 bucks] [he's not coming]".
                        >>
                        >> Cheers,
                        >> --
                        >> Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
                        >>
                        >



                        --
                        Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
                      • Eugene Oh
                        Alternatively, It is assured that he is not coming. I don t see the logic behind considering it an argument slot, or else I think that he is right would
                        Message 11 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                          Alternatively,
                          "It is assured that he is not coming."

                          I don't see the logic behind considering it an argument slot, or else "I
                          think that he is right" would involve a bivalent verb, which is hardly so.

                          If we had to strictly give a term to the function of that "that" in your
                          "assured" sentence, I say it is an alternative nominalisation equivalent to
                          "his not coming" and completely non-syntactic.

                          Eugene

                          On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 8:50 PM, Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...> wrote:

                          > On the one hand, I'm not sure the "that" qualifies as an adposition
                          > here. If you plop a clause into any other argument slot, you need a
                          > "that", even if it's not acting as a conjunction:
                          >
                          > "That he's not coming is assured" - Subject
                          >
                          > On the other, you can't put anything *but* a clause into the alleged
                          > fourth argument slot of "bet", whereas the other three can have
                          > arbitrary pronoun/noun phrases. Which makes me think it's not really
                          > an argument slot.
                          >
                          >
                          > On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 8:34 AM, Eugene Oh <un.doing@...> wrote:
                          > > This is much different from the book sale example. The clause "he's not
                          > > coming" should not qualify because it is missing an optional "that" in
                          > > front, whereas "her" in the book sale example was genuinely promoted via
                          > a
                          > > syntactic switch to fulfill the same purpose as the preposition.
                          > > And, since the preposition "to" qualifies in argument-defining, the
                          > > preposition "for" should also qualify.
                          > >
                          > > Eugene
                          > >
                          > > On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 4:06 PM, Philip Newton <philip.newton@...
                          > >wrote:
                          > >
                          > >> On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 00:54, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...
                          > >
                          > >> wrote:
                          > >> > As for English tetravalent verbs; maybe "bet" is a good one?
                          > >>
                          > >> Hm, compelling.
                          > >>
                          > >> For example, "[I] bet [you] [20 bucks] [he's not coming]".
                          > >>
                          > >> Cheers,
                          > >> --
                          > >> Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
                          > >>
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > --
                          > Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
                          >
                        • Philip Newton
                          ... Why not? How can you think such a thing? (In other words: I can imagine it as a bivalent verb whose second argument is nearly always a clause.) Cheers, --
                          Message 12 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                            On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 15:02, Eugene Oh <un.doing@...> wrote:
                            > I don't see the logic behind considering it an argument slot, or else "I
                            > think that he is right" would involve a bivalent verb, which is hardly so.

                            Why not? How can you think such a thing?

                            (In other words: I can imagine it as a bivalent verb whose second
                            argument is nearly always a clause.)

                            Cheers,
                            --
                            Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
                          • Kenneth Asad
                            ... I can see where you re going :-) On the other hand, isn t the part: on The Daily Arabian to win some kind of clause in itself? It s a bit like the
                            Message 13 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                              > * Kenneth Asad said on 2008-09-29 18:05:45 +0200> > he sold the book to her for 20 bucks> > 'The fool bet him five quid on "The Daily Arabian" to win'> > > t.
                              I can see where you're going :-)
                              On the other hand, isn't the part:
                              on "The Daily Arabian" to win
                              some kind of clause in itself?
                              It's a bit like the following:
                              for "The Daily Arabian" to win
                              which wouldn't preclude it from being a fourth argument :-)

                              This of course brings me/us to a bit of a fix...
                              Is there any way - a test - to determine
                              whether a phrase is a core argument or an oblique argument?
                              ... I'm not a linguist myself
                              _________________________________________________________________
                              MSN Style - alt for kvinder samlet på ét sted – klik her
                              http://www.msnstyle.dk/
                            • Kenneth Asad
                              ... I can see no reason as to why a clause should not be able to be a core argument... Even if the particular verb can only have a clause as - say - a direct
                              Message 14 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                                > > I don't see the logic behind considering it an argument slot,
                                > > or else
                                > > "I think that he is right"
                                > > would involve a bivalent verb,
                                > > which is hardly so.> > Why not? How can you think such a thing?> > (In other words:
                                > I can imagine it as a bivalent verb
                                > whose second argument is nearly always a clause.) I would have to agree with Phillip :-)
                                I can see no reason as to
                                why a clause should not be able to be a core argument...
                                Even if the particular verb can only have a clause
                                as - say - a direct object.

                                _________________________________________________________________
                                Pimp din egen buddy med buddy Maker
                                http://www.messengerplayground.dk/buddymaker
                              • Eldin Raigmore
                                On Mon, 29 Sep 2008 22:23:10 -0400, Mark J. Reed ... Aren t some of Lojban s words even hexavalent? I thought that 6 participants was
                                Message 15 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                                  On Mon, 29 Sep 2008 22:23:10 -0400, Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
                                  wrote:
                                  >On Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 1:57 PM, deinx nxtxr <deinx.nxtxr@...>
                                  >wrote:
                                  >> Check out Lojban. Some definitions that are pentavalent.
                                  >
                                  >There must be some with even more parameters than that, aren't there?
                                  >But I don't think Lojban or similar loglangs really count in this
                                  >regard. They try to account for all possible arguments as explicit
                                  >parameters, whereas most languages just use generic tack-on modifiers
                                  >that aren't tied to a specific verb.
                                  >
                                  >--
                                  >Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>

                                  Aren't some of Lojban's words even hexavalent? I thought that 6 participants
                                  was Lojban's maximum.

                                  There may indeed be other conlangs with more than six, for all I know.

                                  As for natlangs;

                                  Linguists who actually think grammatical relations are important and useful
                                  cross-linguistically tend to think that the maximum number of grammatical
                                  relations in natlangs is 4, and the minimum is 1.

                                  Those linguists who think some languages have none at all and some have
                                  more than four, tend to be a subset of those linguists who think that
                                  grammatical relations are useless in describing many languages, and of limited
                                  use in describing most languages.

                                  I have read an article (sorry I forget the title and editor of the book and the
                                  title of the chapter) in which some linguist (sorry I forget who) argued that
                                  some Native North American language (sorry I forget which one, but I think it
                                  began with Ch? or at least with C? Maybe Choctaw or Cherokee or Creek?) has
                                  (up to) seven. S/he (I think it was a "he") clearly was among those who
                                  thought that GRs were not usually worth the time spent on them.
                                • Eldin Raigmore
                                  See It s available as a PDF, and as a PDF with links. ... I ll quote its Abstract, in case
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                                    See
                                    < http://www.reference-global.com/doi/abs/10.1515/LING.2007.015 >

                                    It's available as a PDF, and as a PDF with links.

                                    --------------------------------------------------

                                    I'll quote its Abstract, in case you can't download a PDF:

                                    Issue: May 2007 Volume 45, Number 3
                                    A typology of tritransitives: alignment types and motivations
                                    Seppo Kittilä University of Helsinki.
                                    kittila@...
                                    Correspondence address:
                                    Seppo Kittilä,
                                    Dept of Linguistics, P.O. Box 9, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.
                                    Citation Information. Linguistics. Volume 45, Issue 3, Pages 453–508, ISSN
                                    (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: 10.1515/LING.2007.015,
                                    May 2007
                                    Publication History: Received: 16/11/2004; revised: 24/07/2006; published
                                    online: 23/05/2007
                                    Abstract
                                    The present article discusses the syntax and semantics of tritransitive
                                    constructions. The label comprises constructions like "a physiotherapist made
                                    the phonetician give a book to the bassoon player" and "a phonetician gave a
                                    book to the bassoon player for the physiotherapist" and their equivalents in
                                    the languages of the world. The article proposes a formal typology, which is
                                    based on the formal similarities and differences in the Recipient and
                                    Beneficiary/ Causee coding in ditransitive and tritransitive clauses. Four types
                                    are distinguished, all of which are illustrated by crosslinguistic data. The
                                    arguments either receive distinct formal treatment irrespective of clause type,
                                    or the differences may be confined to tritransitives (they may also be marked
                                    alike). Moreover, the attested differences can be divided into subtypes based
                                    on whether the relevant arguments bear marking not attested outside
                                    tritransitives, or whether their formal treatment is different in more general
                                    terms. In addition to the formal typology, the article also discusses the
                                    rationale behind the attested tritransitive types. The key feature here is
                                    Ambiguity Avoidance, which is compared to Case Hierarchy (see, e.g., Comrie
                                    1975).


                                    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                    and it's "recommended reading" list; including

                                    Recommended Readings

                                    External possession and utterance interpretation: a crosslinguistic exploration
                                    M. C. O'Connor
                                    Linguistics May 2007, Vol. 45, No. 3: Pages 577–613
                                    Abstract - PDF (199 KB) - PDF with Links (201 KB)

                                    “Two's company, more is a crowd”: the linguistic encoding of multiple-
                                    participant events
                                    Bhuvana Narasimhan, Sonja Eisenbeiß Penelope Brown
                                    Linguistics May 2007, Vol. 45, No. 3: Pages 383–392
                                    Abstract - PDF (75 KB) - PDF with Links (78 KB)

                                    Encoding three-participant events in the Lao clause
                                    N. J. Enfield
                                    Linguistics May 2007, Vol. 45, No. 3: Pages 509–538
                                    Abstract - PDF (163 KB) - PDF with Links (166 KB)

                                    On giving, receiving, affecting and benefitting in Jalonke
                                    Friederike Lüpke
                                    Linguistics May 2007, Vol. 45, No. 3: Pages 539–576
                                    Abstract - PDF (196 KB) - PDF with Links (200 KB)

                                    Three-participant events in the languages of the world: towards a
                                    crosslinguistic typology
                                    Anna Margetts, Peter K. Austin
                                    Linguistics May 2007, Vol. 45, No. 3: Pages 393–451
                                    Abstract - PDF (266 KB) - PDF with Links (280 KB)

                                    The genetic matrix of Mayan applicative acquisition
                                    Clifton Pye
                                    Linguistics May 2007, Vol. 45, No. 3: Pages 653–681
                                    Abstract - PDF (212 KB) - PDF with Links (217 KB)
                                  • ROGER MILLS
                                    I think we could make a good argument that _buy, sell, bet_ and maybe _trade_ could be considered tetravalent. Each allows (but doesn t require) maximum
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                                      I think we could make a good argument that _buy, sell, bet_ and maybe
                                      _trade_ could be considered tetravalent. Each allows (but doesn't require)
                                      maximum Agent--Patient--Dative/Source/Commitative--Amount. Exactly how
                                      "amount" would be treated is the question. Maybe "intrumental"?

                                      For "bet", the "IO" is probably Commitative-- I(A) bet [with]you(Com) [by
                                      means of]$5(amt) [that S](P)

                                      In the case of "I bet (him) $5 on Seabuscuit" perhaps "bet on" is a
                                      compound?? OTOH in "I bet (him) $5 on Seabuscuit to win" Perhaps "...on S.
                                      to win" is a reduction of "...that Sea. will win" ???

                                      Perhaps some language could assign the IO (dative/source/comm.) to just one
                                      case, though we run into a problem with "buy", which can take either a
                                      dative/benefactive-- I bought _him_ a book (for $5)- or a source --I bought
                                      (from him) a book (for $5).

                                      Just some random musings :-)))
                                    • Eldin Raigmore
                                      Oh, I just found a source that has that whole article available to read online!
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                                        Oh, I just found a source that has that whole article available to read online!
                                        < http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-31976012_ITM >
                                      • Eldin Raigmore
                                        This is my fifth post for today, so it is my final one, and I ll have to combine answers to other posts without quoting them -- sorry. First; as many people
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                                          This is my fifth post for today, so it is my final one, and I'll have to combine
                                          answers to other posts without quoting them -- sorry.

                                          First; as many people have said, there's no reason a clause can't be an
                                          argument. In any language with subordination, in fact, it is likely that some
                                          subordinate clauses are complement clauses; complement clauses are always
                                          arguments. In fact, one well-known way of classifying verbs classifies them
                                          into those which cannot take a complement clause as an argument, those
                                          which must take a complement clause as an argument, and those which may
                                          or may not take a complement clause as an argument; see this list for a book
                                          by Dixon, Aikhenvald, and Onishi(? Sorry I'm not certain of the last author's
                                          name).

                                          Possibly, though, languages without subordination may nevertheless have
                                          complement clauses, especially in quotation. Verbs of saying and thinking
                                          usually have "embedded clauses" as one argument.

                                          As far as I know (the wannabe-amateur is speaking here! So there's no
                                          citations to back this up) every language has both embedded clauses and
                                          dependent clauses (where some of its verb's semantics depend on those of
                                          some other clause's verb). But some languages never have embedded
                                          dependent clauses, that is, clauses that are both embedded in and dependent
                                          on another clause; those are the languages that don't have subordinate
                                          clauses in the strict sense.

                                          As far as I know, subordinate clauses can either be used as if nouns
                                          (complement clauses), as if adjectives (relative clauses), or as if adverbs
                                          (adjunct clauses). In English, "that" is a complementizer and a relativizer; not
                                          an adposition. (Of course it's also a demonstrative; in many languages,
                                          complementizers and/or relativizers are similar to demonstratives and/or
                                          question-words.)

                                          Second: About testing whether or not a participant is an argument or an
                                          adjunct, and whether an argument is a core argument or an oblique argument.

                                          Yes, there probably is a test. No, I don't know where to find one.

                                          There's a test for a Subject, and a test for an Absolutive; look on Chris D.
                                          Bates's (the maths student from Nottinghamshire) wiki for one (more-or-less
                                          cursory) discussion of them.
                                          < http://chrisdb.me.uk/wiki/doku.php?id=grammatical_relations >

                                          Not all professionals "believe in" arguments vs adjuncts; not all "believe in"
                                          core vs oblique. So odds are that any test is not universally accepted.

                                          The same applies to the Subject test and to the Absolutive test, but in their
                                          cases most linguists who have an alternative test present it as a modification
                                          of those tests, and most linguists who criticize all tests choose those tests as
                                          the main examples to criticize.

                                          Some conlangers also have doubts about argument vs. adjunct; even more
                                          have doubts about the "definition(s)" of argument.
                                          The description of "argument" most often seen is something like;
                                          "A participant which is semantically necessary in order for the verb to mean
                                          anything". But some don't think that's a definition, that it's merely a
                                          description; others don't think it's any good as a description either, because,
                                          for instance, some of them think that phrases like "semantically necessary" are
                                          pretty useless.

                                          Nevertheless many pros do in fact use the ideas of "argument" and "adjunct".

                                          Then there's the question of "what's a core argument" vs "what's an oblique".
                                          The best (IMO) description of a "core" argument is "an argument that occupies
                                          a grammatical relation". Obviously that one's going to be no good to you in
                                          finding a test to see whether an argument is a core argument or an oblique
                                          argument, if you're trying to discover how many and what grammatical
                                          relations a language has; you need a definition that doesn't prerequire knowing
                                          what the GRs are.

                                          A theory known as RRG (Role and Reference Grammar, a completely different
                                          thing from RG (which is "Relational Grammar")) has an idea known as "core";
                                          you should look up their definition and see whether it helps.

                                          ------------------------

                                          A related question is whether or not valency means anything, and if it does,
                                          what is its definition.

                                          Lots of theories "believe in" some idea of valency; some don't.

                                          Just looking at verbs (there's good reason to believe many words that aren't
                                          verbs nevertheless have valency, at least in many theories), if we believe they
                                          have "valency", there may be several different ideas as to what its "valency" is.

                                          If the verb is just sitting in the lexicon available for use:
                                          Maybe you count the number of arguments it can "specifically license"
                                          (whatever that means), including those that are omissible.
                                          Or;
                                          Maybe you count the number of obligatory, mandatory arguments it requires.

                                          If the verb is actually used in a clause;
                                          Maybe you count the number of arguments it actually has explicitly specified in
                                          the clause.
                                          Or, maybe you count also those arguments which are implicitly assumed.

                                          And, either way;
                                          Maybe you count only "core arguments"; or maybe you count "oblique
                                          arguments" as well.

                                          (Some verbs in some languages have mandatory oblique arguments, such as
                                          the locative required by "put" in English.)

                                          -----------------------------------------

                                          I hope that helps.
                                        • Lars Finsen
                                          ... I m glad there are linguists who think so, too. Maybe I m not completely lost. Got to read that article once I find the time. And a good dictionary of
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                                            Den 30. sep. 2008 kl. 20.13 skreiv Eldin Raigmore:
                                            >
                                            > Those linguists who think some languages have none at all and some
                                            > have
                                            > more than four, tend to be a subset of those linguists who think that
                                            > grammatical relations are useless in describing many languages, and
                                            > of limited use in describing most languages.

                                            I'm glad there are linguists who think so, too. Maybe I'm not
                                            completely lost. Got to read that article once I find the time. And a
                                            good dictionary of linguistic terms.

                                            LEF
                                          • Eldin Raigmore
                                            On Tue, 30 Sep 2008 15:20:11 +0000, Kenneth Asad ... (Neither am I! But there are some on the list.) Here are some helps; some things that are necessary, or
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Sep 30, 2008
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                                              On Tue, 30 Sep 2008 15:20:11 +0000, Kenneth Asad
                                              <kenneth_asad@...> wrote:
                                              >This of course brings me/us to a bit of a fix...
                                              >Is there any way - a test - to determine
                                              >whether a phrase is a core argument or an oblique argument?
                                              >... I'm not a linguist myself

                                              (Neither am I! But there are some on the list.)

                                              Here are some helps; some things that are necessary, or sufficient, to be an
                                              argument, or to be in the core. There is nothing nothing _I_ know of that is
                                              _both_ necessary _and_ sufficient. And this is not an exhaustive list of the
                                              things that are necessary _or_ sufficient (though I'm not sure such a list
                                              exists).

                                              ------------------

                                              About arguments vs. adjuncts.

                                              All adjuncts are oblique, and if they have cases or adpositions (or both), these
                                              show what semantic role they play in their clause.

                                              Also, all adjuncts are optional; if they're omitted the clause still means
                                              something, and indeed means something rather similar to what it meant with
                                              the adjunct included.

                                              Arguments, OTOH, are supposed to be "semantically mandatory"
                                              or "semantically obligatory"; but, in some grammaticist's analyses of some
                                              languages, that doesn't mean "obligatorily explicit" nor "mandatorily explicit".
                                              In other words, they still count something as an argument if both the speaker
                                              and the addressee have to assume it's implicitly there even if the speaker
                                              doesn't mention it in the clause in question. For instance, it may be specific
                                              (the speaker has one in mind) or definite (the speaker also thinks the
                                              addressee knows which one the speaker has in mind) because the speaker
                                              mentioned it in an earlier clause.

                                              The upshot is; if something is obligatorily explicit -- if it's ungrammatical for a
                                              speaker to speak the clause without mentioning that participant -- then that
                                              participant is bound to be an argument, not an adjunct.

                                              Unfortunately, if the speaker needn't mention it for the clause to be
                                              grammatical, that doesn't mean that that participant is not an argument (is an
                                              adjunct). That can depend on the language; or even vary within the
                                              language. AFAIK it could also depend on which theory the given grammaticist
                                              adheres to.

                                              -------------------------

                                              About obliques vs core;

                                              To start with, all adjuncts are oblique.

                                              There are such things as oblique arguments, though; and there are such
                                              things as mandatorily-explicit oblique arguments.

                                              In some languages, and some people think English and many other familiar
                                              languages are included in this, obliques have adpositions and/or case-endings
                                              indicating "semantic cases" (what semantic role, thematic role, theta-role,
                                              case role, or "deep case" the noun plays), while core arguments don't have
                                              adpositions and either have no case endings or have "syntactic case" endings
                                              (case-endings indicating which grammatical relation the noun has to the
                                              clause).

                                              But there are good reasons to believe some languages have "dative
                                              adpositions", like English's "to" (if you believe English has an "indirect object"
                                              GR). And some languages -- Spanish and Turkish, for example --
                                              have "accusative adpositions", at least for some direct objects (for instance,
                                              definite humans, or definite animates, or specific humans).

                                              There is even some sense to interpreting Tagalog's "ang" as much as
                                              a "nominative adposition" as a definite article.

                                              Anyway:
                                              If the verb has to agree with the noun-phrase or pronoun, the NP or Pron is
                                              probably (almost certainly) in a grammatical relation; or to put it another way,
                                              is probably (almost certainly) a Core Argument.

                                              For languages with polypersonal agreement this is useful because the verb
                                              may agree with two or three or even four participants.

                                              (If the verb agrees with five or more participants maybe this breaks down? Or
                                              maybe it just means the language has more than four GRs? I know of some
                                              languages that have five things verbs can agree with, but don't know of any
                                              examples in them of any verbs actually agreeing with more than four of them
                                              at a time.)

                                              For languages in which verbs never agree with any participants this is pretty
                                              useless.

                                              For languages in which verbs have to agree with exactly one participant, this
                                              identifies the Subject GR (so the Subject is part of the Core), but doesn't
                                              identify any Objects; if the language has Objects they have to be identified
                                              another way. (There are other ways coming up; they often help but are not
                                              always decisive.)

                                              Some languages require the verb to agree with the Subject and with the
                                              Primary (or Direct, depending on the language) Object (if there is one); but do
                                              not require it to agree with any Secondary Objects, although some clauses in
                                              the language do indeed have three (or four?) GRs. In such clauses in such
                                              languages a Secondary Object is still a Core Argument for that clause, but the
                                              verb doesn't have to agree with it.

                                              Also:
                                              If the semantic role, thematic role, theta-role, case-role, or "deep case" which
                                              the NP or Pron plays, is not indicated by the morphological case or the
                                              adposition, but instead must be deduced from the voice of the verb; then the
                                              NP or Pron probably occupies a Grammatical Relation and so is a Core
                                              Argument.

                                              That's one thing that happens with NPs in GRs; their case (or lack of one) and
                                              their adposition (or lack of one) indicate which GR they have to the verb, not
                                              which semantic role they play; they can play many different semantic roles.
                                              The voice of the verb indicates which semantic role each of its Core
                                              Arguments plays.

                                              ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                              So;

                                              If an NP is obligatorily explicit it must be an argument; but if it's optionally
                                              implicit it may still be an argument (or may not).

                                              If the verb has to agree with an NP it must be a Core Argument, but if the
                                              verb need not agree with it it may still be a Core Argument (or may not).

                                              If an NP's semantic role is indicated by the verb's voice rather than by its own
                                              case-marker and/or adposition, it must be a Core Argument; if the verb's voice
                                              tells nothing about the NP's semantic role, but its case and adposition tell
                                              everything about its semantic role, it must be an Oblique (either an Oblique
                                              Argument, or an Adjunct).

                                              The above probably do not always settle every question; but they settle
                                              many, and give a lot of hints about most others.
                                            • John Vertical
                                              ... Amount seems symmetrical to patient for most of these: I sell you a book for $10 = I give you a book and you give me $10. Bet appears to be a different
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Oct 14, 2008
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                                                On Tue, 30 Sep 2008 14:21:11 -0400, ROGER MILLS wrote:

                                                >I think we could make a good argument that _buy, sell, bet_ and maybe
                                                >_trade_ could be considered tetravalent. Each allows (but doesn't require)
                                                >maximum Agent--Patient--Dative/Source/Commitative--Amount. Exactly how
                                                >"amount" would be treated is the question. Maybe "intrumental"?

                                                "Amount" seems symmetrical to patient for most of these: I sell you a book
                                                for $10 = I give you a book and you give me $10.

                                                "Bet" appears to be a different structure; "amount" is here taking care of
                                                both transfer slots, while the "patient" seems more like a "topic" role than
                                                a true patient, as it is not necessarily affected by the transaction.

                                                John Vertical
                                              • David Fernandez-Nieto
                                                ROGER MILLS] ... Amount seems symmetrical to patient for most of these: I sell you a book for $10 = I give you a book and you give me $10. Bet appears to
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Oct 15, 2008
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                                                  ROGER MILLS]

                                                  >I think we could make a good argument that _buy, sell, bet_ and maybe
                                                  >_trade_ could be considered tetravalent.  Each allows (but doesn't require)
                                                  >maximum Agent--Patient--Dative/Source/Commitative--Amount.  Exactly how
                                                  >"amount" would be treated is the question. Maybe "intrumental"?

                                                  "Amount" seems symmetrical to patient for most of these: I sell you a book
                                                  for $10 = I give you a book and you give me $10.

                                                  "Bet" appears to be a different structure; "amount" is here taking care of
                                                  both transfer slots, while the "patient" seems more like a "topic" role than
                                                  a true patient, as it is not necessarily affected by the transaction.

                                                  John Vertical

                                                  daf]
                                                  when you say "i sell you a book for $10" = "i give you a book and you give me $10", y think that that AND is special. "and you, because of reciprocity, give me..."  
                                                  i propose "e" /i:/ as that special AND.
                                                • Eugene Oh
                                                  ??? On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 10:51 AM, David Fernandez-Nieto
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Oct 15, 2008
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                                                    ???

                                                    On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 10:51 AM, David Fernandez-Nieto
                                                    <yulerippo@...>wrote:

                                                    >
                                                    > daf]
                                                    > when you say "i sell you a book for $10" = "i give you a book and you give
                                                    > me $10", y think that that AND is special. "and you, because of reciprocity,
                                                    > give me..."
                                                    > i propose "e" /i:/ as that special AND.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
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