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525Verbal agreement and clitics (was Re: Reflexivity of _im_)

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  • David Kiltz
    Nov 5, 2003
      On 05.11.2003, at 17:32, Aaron Shaw wrote:

      >> Lastly, I wouldn't expect the casus rectus (nominative) of the 1. sg.
      >> pronoun to be _ni_ as the attested form in Quenya is _inye_ possessive
      >> -(i)nya_.
      >
      > Oh, very interesting. I'm not sure that we can be compare these
      > languages so closely though in this case. They are separate entities and
      > deserve to be treated as such, even if they do share a common origin.
      > I see no reason why pronouns in an agglutinating language would have to
      > resemble those of a more analytic tongue.

      Certainly they are separate entities. Yet, I believe it is justified to
      compare them because they are 'genetically' related. The typological
      difference (which isn't really all that big, cf. S. _guren_ 'my heart'
      with Q. _órenya_ [VT41:11]) doesn't matter here I think. Note that
      independent pronouns aren't effected by 'agglutination vs analysis'.
      E.g. Turkish has the independent pronouns _ben, sen, o_ 'I, you,
      he/she/it' just as an analytical language, say English. Compare also
      English, an 'analytical' (or even isolating') IE language, with Old Indic
      which is rather more agglutinative (inflective). The similarity of the
      pronouns is there because these languages are historically related,
      that is, have sprung from one root. Eng. _I_, Thou < PIE _*eg'oH_,
      _*tuH_ and Old Indic _aham, _tvam_ < PIE _*eg'H-om_, *_tu(H)-om_.
      Typology doesn't bear on this matter, as far as I can see.

      > What would be interesting to know is whether Sindarin
      > verbal "inflections" are an agreement phenomenon or a clitized
      > pronoun. If this were to be a cliticized pronoun that would suggest a
      > nominative, or casus rectus as you put it, form _ni_.

      I don't know whether I understand you right. Historically, verbal
      endings have their origin in pronouns (clitics). Inflecting languages
      don't normally employ an independent pronoun with a verb unless the
      endings have been worn down to a certain degree. In the latter case
      languages tend to make the use of independent pronouns with a verb
      obligatory. Still, inflecting languages and thus inflected verbs do
      agree with the subject of the sentence. So, actually, it's an agreement
      phenomenon + they are (originally) cliticized pronouns (or forms
      thereof). So, Sindarin has its 1. sg. verbal marker in -n.

      But no, as far as I know, Sindarin doesn't attach forms of the
      independent pronoun to the verb (inflected or not) synchronically. That
      means, while the ending _-n_ would be related to _nin_, _enni_ etc., it
      is not the synchronical equivalent of the independent pronoun 'I' in
      Sindarin.

      David Kiltz
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