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693Re: [Lambengolmor] Acc. in -n and valence of esta

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  • David Kiltz
    Jun 16, 2004
      On 16.06.2004, at 13:24, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

      > Which really is what we're talking about: different languages have
      > different idioms for names and naming based on differing perspective;
      > and sometimes even have more than one idiom within a single language.

      Certainly. Yet the ample evidence afforded to us by real world
      languages clearly indicates that, whenever a verb is used that means
      not just 'call' aut sim. (and even then) we have a construction with
      direct object. It is the 'named' that is coded as direct object. One
      could argue that this is due to the greater salience of the human agent
      in marking hierarchy. But I think the coding is due to the fact that the
      'named' is here the first and necessary complement to the verb. That
      is, you can say 'they named their child' but 'they used Peter as a
      name' is not a complete sentence (unless, of course it refers to some
      prior statement like 'the child was born'. Then, however, it isn't a
      complete sentence either but rather a disconnected complement).

      This, IMHO, is why "[verb]+[accusative: the named]+
      +[predicative: the name] is per se more straightforward than
      [verb]+[accusative: name]+[dative: the named]".

      I'd venture to say that in accusative languages this is a syntactical
      universal, necessitated by the coding strategy of this kind of
      language. I'm always referring to a verb that I view as derivative of
      'name', not just any verb. So, 'to say' would work clearly differently.
      But my whole point is that 'to name' (and that is what I think we have
      in The King's Letter) works this way.

      [Here's a thought: if _esta-_ does take the thing or person named as an
      object, (direct or indirect) then presumably the named would be marked
      with an objective form; why then do we have an apparenly unmarked form
      of the relative pronoun, _i_ 'who' (according to the English gloss), as
      opposed to some objective form meaning 'whom'/ 'to/for whom' (which
      appears to have existed for at least some kind of Sindarin, cf. _ai_ *'for
      those who' in _Ae Adar N�n_)? Since its referent is the object in question,
      the named person, ought it not by the same typological argument likewise
      show object inflection? (A similar observation about the form and apparent
      function of the relative in this phrase was made, if I recall correctly, in
      Ivan Derzhanski's discussion of _i Panthael estathar aen_ in his article
      "_Peth i dirathar aen_: Some Notes on Eldarin Relative Constructions" in
      VT 38.) CFH]

      The example adduced by Pavel Iosad:

      > Russian _kormitj_ 'to feed' normally codes the one who is fed in
      > the accusative and the food with the instrumental.
      > However, its derivative _skarmlivatj_ (which means the
      > same, but also carries stylistic overtones) takes the food
      > as direct object and the one being fed as indirect object
      > in the dative.

      is interesting. Clearly, we have a stylistically marked construction
      here. A question: Can you say in English 'I fed the cat its milk' ?

      [Yes, and without much markedness, except that we generally don't
      speak of "feeding" liquids, but rather typically associate the verb
      "feed" with solid food. I would more naturally say, "I gave the cat (its)
      milk"; similarly, I wouldn't say "The cat ate its milk", but rather "The
      cat drank its milk". CFH]

      If so, how does it contrast with 'I fed the cat with milk' ?

      [This would be a marekdly unusual thing to say in English, execpt e.g. as
      a full and formal response to the question "What did you feed the cat with?".

      (I'm aware that this is not an English language list but I would use
      the answer in illucidating, or trying to, the Sindarin construction

      [No problem. CFH]

      -David Kiltz
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