Talk:Kilda Kelen

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Talk:Kilda Kelen (comment)

1) Hi, Panchakahq. 2) I like what you've done to Kilda Kelen so far. 3) I commented on Yahoo! groups "aboriconlangs" and "eastasianconlangs". 4) You ought to post an announcement on Yahoo! group "frathwiki" as well. 5) IMO you should consider joining Yahoo! group "altaica", at least to lurk; and consider posting an announcement there. 6) Have you considered cross-referencing Kilda Kelen in the Conlang Wikia? 7) I'm looking forward to your "Kinship Terms". Why not just look up some R.L. ones in the Wikipedia, see how it's done, and then do it more-or-less that way here on Frathwiki? Then tell the Yahoo! groups what URL to look at. Worry _later_ about how to e-mail the kinterm-system itself to a Yahoo! group afterward. 8) If "this wasn't as hard as you expected", that encourages me to attempt further progress on Adpihi and/or Reptigan. So I'm _really_ looking forward to the kinterms.



Hi, Eldin -- Thanks very much for all the positive feedback, encouragement, and ideas! - I'm really reluctant to join yet more email lists, when so few have any activity, and when in turn so little of that activity is of much quality. And the "altaica" list (and its cousins and predecessors) has enough cranks without adding conlanging to the mix, IMO -- I'd like to see some forums with some serious, non-wingnut Altaistics discussion ;( - Good idea about cross-listing or linking in other conlangy wikis; I just don't know which ones are actually lively and trafficked, and keep thinking I'm going to get more material together to post and *then* I'll work on linking and so forth! - I didn't know that Wikipedia proper has a format set up for presenting kin terms or systems; I'll check that out for sure -- it could save me a lot of headache. - Looking forward to reading more about Adpihi & Reptigan, myself, in whatever location!

Aren't participles verbal adjectives?

Aren't participles verbal adjectives? (Though not necessarily all verbal adjectives are participles, FAIK.)

Converbs are usually considered equivalent to gerunds (and vice versa).

Normally the "most important" (whatever that means) verbal noun is called "the (or an) infinitive" IIUC; and other verbal nouns are usually called "gerunds".

If you've got one (or more) important non-finite form(s) of your verbs which is a verbal noun, and distinguish them from gerunds, shouldn't you call (one of) them "infinitives" (especially if in your opinion it's "more important" than the "gerunds") instead of "participles"?

(Other names for verbal nouns include "masdars", "supines", and "verbnouns".)

If your 'lang allows using adjectives as nouns, then you may be able (and probably are able) to use participles as nouns, too. In that case your active participle could be used as your agent-nominalization and your passive participle could be used as your passive-nominalization.

What do you think?

(And incidentally I like your most recent update. Naturally people talk more about what they think you should change than what they think you got just perfect the first try; and I'm a "people", so I do that too.)

eldin 16:13, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Response to Eldin's 16 May 08 comments

First, no worries about the nature of your comments; actually I'd much prefer the "what you should change/why did you do it like THAT???" feedback than the "OMG thats liek so cool" kind :) So, thank you very much!

"Adjective" just is a pretty vague and marginally useful category, as Neo-Khitanese parts-of-speech go, so it didn't occur to me to describe these things as "verbal *adjectives*" instead of as nouns/nominals. It's more a matter of "my lang allows using nouns as adjectives" than vice versa -- and, for that matter, there's not really a distinction between "the active participle" and "the passive participle" as such.

I'm honestly not familiar with the term "verbal adjective" in general linguistic literature, but from that position of ignorance, I can't see any reason to prefer "verbal adjective" over "verbal noun" here.

And, frankly, a factor in using "participle" was simply to mimic the terminology used by other (English-language, at least) writers on Mongol/Tungusic languages. I'm well aware it's not pukka terminology, but I sacrificed descriptive perfection to try to simulate real-world documentation of a real-world language :) Though I modernized a *little* bit, and used "converb" instead of "gerund" to distinguish the non-nounish/adjectivish, non-finite verbal forms. I'm reluctant to use the term infinitive, except in scare quotes, because I don't think there's a really good match between any of the NK candidates and other languages' "infinitives". Maybe the "Purposive Converbs"... but I just can't see much advantage in slapping such a vague label on them.

Response to response; recommend "supine", recommend against "converb", but your reasons sufficient.

"to mimic the terminology used by other (English-language, at least) writers on Mongol/Tungusic languages" is a perfectly sufficient reason to do as you have done. And so is "to simulate real-world documentation of a real-world language".

Not all languages have "adjectives" as a separate open class. Many languages use verbs where other languages would use adjectives; many languages use nouns where other languages would use adjectives. It appears NK is one of the latter? ("Polysynthetic" languages seem particularly prone to do without adjectives, I have read.) Anyway, I've also read objections to distinguishing adjectives from nouns, that say they should really be "adjective nouns" vs "substantive nouns".

You make a good point here, and I think a lot of the confusion you’re detecting is simply a result of my throwing out snippets onto a webpage without all the context. In my grammatical materials on NK, what I actually use is the term “nominal”, to cover both of “adjective nouns” and “substantive nouns”. “Words that modify nouns” in NK are for the most part either nominals or “verbal nouns/participles”; there’s only a very small residual class of words that could really be called adjectives and aren’t either nominals or verbal derivations. (“Big”, “little”, etc.) NK isn’t polysynthetic, at least not in the senses of the term I’m familiar with – certainly no more so than Turkish or Japanese. -- K.
I thought that might be, and it does indeed explain everything. There are languages with a small closed class of "adjectives" (some people don't like to call a class "adjectives" unless it's an open class, but they modify nouns, aren't nouns, and aren't verbs). It looks like NK is one of them? Do you have a list of these "adjectives" somewhere? How many are there? About a dozen, maybe? Or about as many as English has adpositions or as Korean has light verbs? It would be interesting to know. --eldin 17:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

The difference, if there is one, is that adjectives modify noun-phrases. Many languages have a case for most of their nouns which is adnominal rather than adverbial; the noun in that case is used to modify another noun or noun-phrase, rather than a verb or a clause or some other multi-word constituent than a noun-phrase. The genitive is probably the most popular name for such a case. So "allowing nouns to be used as adjectives" is also a pretty popular strategy cross-linguistically, even among languages which do distinguish between nouns and adjectives.

If X is a part of speech, a "verbal X" is an X derived from a verb which still has some of the properties of a verb; for instance, maybe it's able to take an object. "Verbal nouns" are nouns derived from verbs which still act somewhat like verbs; "verbal adjectives" are adjectives derived from verbs which still act somewhat like verbs. (In a parallel sense there can be adjectival adverbs, adjectival nouns, adjectival verbs, adverbal adjectives, adverbal nouns, adverbal verbs, nominal adjectives, nominal adverbs, nominal verbs, verbal adverbs. Some of those won't be very big or very interesting or very common.) One of the distinctions is between the "verbal adj" and the "deverbal adj"; a "deverbal adj" is also derived from a verb, but may have no verb-like properties. Similarly a "deverbal noun" is a noun derived from a verb, but need not have any verb-like properties.

Participles are usually considered verbal adjectives; they are the only kind of verbal adjective of which I am aware that frequently occur cross-linguistically. It is a personal conceit of mine that the category of participle should be based on the meaning "the modified noun was/is/couldbe a participant in the root verb". Participles can have tense, aspect, mood, and voice. An active participle modifies a noun to say that that noun was(or other form of the verb "to be") an agent of the root verb; a passive participle means that the noun was a patient of the root verb. In English, active participles tend to end with -ing, and sound and look exactly like present participles and imperfective participles and gerunds ("I am killing"); passive participles tend to end with -ed, and sound and look exactly like past participles and perfective participles ("I am killed").

Yes. This is why I’ve accepted the term “participle” for NK, and why other (English-language, at least) writers on related languages generally used the term. I think the only difference of opinion you and I are having is that, because I’m largely rolling “adjective(al)” into the category of “nominal” for NK, I think it’s clearer to think of “participles” as “verbal ‘nouns’” (or “nominals”, if you like) than “verbal ‘adjectives’”. In actual use, their attributive or noun-modifying function is only one of the roles they play. And, as I mentioned, NK doesn't make a rigorous distinction on the level of morphology between active and passive participles; so it's another categorization that's perfectly valid in the abstract but just not very relevant to the matter at hand. -- K.
That all makes sense and explains it all. These participles are "verbal nominals", where "nominals" is the class that includes both "substantive nouns" and "adjective nouns". It's interesting, though, that NK's participles can inflect for most of the categories finite verbs can inflect for (if I understand correctly what you said below). That's one of the things that makes them "verbal" instead of "deverbal". (Though I think taking participants is the main such thing.)--eldin 17:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

EUROTYP says "converb" and "gerund" might as well be synonyms for the use they make of these terms; but they might not be synonyms when trying to typologize non-European languages. NK is Northeast Asian, right?

Yep – basically it’s just North Tungusic with funny substrata & adstrata :) -- K.

"Converb" was first introduced (or so it is my impression; I could be mistaken) to describe the completely morphology-less forms of verbs used in serial verb constructions in many SVC languages; for some serial-verbs, only one of the verbs in the series is inflected for anything, and the others all appear as converbs. It rather resembles the "construct state" of some Semitic languages, in which the root of the noun appears with as little inflection as possible. I think the lack of inflection is more important, considered world-wide, than the use as a noun, for purposes of calling something a "converb"; a "converb" is the most non-finite or least finite possible form of a non-finite verb.

While I am personally aware of only one type of verbal adjective that reappears in several languages (to wit "participles", though inflecting these for aspect mood number polarity tense and voice makes several sub-types), I am aware of several types of verbal nouns. There are infinitives and gerunds to start with; there are also masdars and supines and gerundives. Normally the most important kind of verbal noun is called "the infinitive" and the others are all called "gerunds", but obviouslly there are exceptions; some languages traditionallly have a "first infinitive" and a "second infinitive" and so on, and some have a "first gerund" and a "second gerund" and so on. I don't know what the customs are regarding "masdars", but there just aren't a lot of customs regarding "supines"; some grammarians analyzing some languages use "supine" for a type of verbal adverb rather than a type of verbal noun, in particular for a non-finite form of the verb intended to express purpose. (For instance, "it is good to drink", in some languages, what English accomplishes with the infinitive "to drink" would be accomplished with a supine instead.)

The term infinitive is never applied to a finite form of the verb. The infinitive must be missing some of the inflection ordinarily required for the nucleus of a main clause. Of course what's "ordinarily required" changes from language to language. But, for preference, if some non-finite forms lack agreement with (some or all) participant(s) (e.g. in number or person or gender), and others instead are "untensed" (lacking, for example, aspect and/or mood and/or polarity and/or tense and/or voice), the term "infinitive" goes to one of the forms specifically lacking agreement. (This doesn't apply to languages where no verb ever has to agree with any of its participants.)

In what other ways do you think none of NK's verbal nouns fit the idea of "infinitive"?

Most of them can serve as finite verbs, e.g. as the sole predicate of an utterance; they have TAM and voice marking only slightly reduced from the range of finite verbs in the strict sense – actually, they make ‘more’ tense and aspect distinctions than finite verbs; they usually retain the same arguments as the verbal stems they’re derived from; they’re usually inflected to agree with their subject. From what I understand of SAE linguistic tradition, these are "things infinitives don't do." -- K.
Most of them can serve as finite verbs, e.g. as the sole predicate of an utterance -- then those certainly can't be infinitives.
they have TAM and voice marking only slightly reduced from the range of finite verbs in the strict sense – actually, they make ‘more’ tense and aspect distinctions than finite verbs -- I think that constrains against, but does not block, calling them "infinitives".
they usually retain the same arguments as the verbal stems they’re derived from -- the more they participants they retain, the bigger a constraint against calling them "infinitives". If they just retain one that makes them "verbal" rather than "deverbal" nominals, but is probably a non-weighty constraint against being called "infinitives"; if they retain all then that is a weighty constraint against being called "infinitives".
they’re usually inflected to agree with their subject. -- To my way of thinking, then, those almost certainly can't be called "infinitives". If a form of the verb agrees with all of the participants a finite verb agrees with (assuming a finite verb would have to agree with some), it might as well be "nearly finite" for this purpose; certainly not an "infinitive". OTOH I might not be correct about this. --eldin 17:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I think your "Purposive Converbs", or at least "purposive verbal nouns", could well be called "supines". It would fit. The term "supine" is a bit obscure (not well known), and also a bit vague. You might want to consider it anyway.

I honestly don't see why. There’s nothing special, morphologically or syntactically, about that one verb form that would seem to merit being singled out. Just because there’s a specialized term available from Greco-Latin linguistics doesn’t mean it’s useful or meaningful to use out that context. In NK, or in other Mongolian or Tungusic languages I know of, for that matter, I don’t see the point of highlighting form X or Y as an “infinitive” or “supine”. It's artificial until proven otherwise :) -- K.
Then don't do it. I just thought it couldn't hurt; I actually didn't see a benefit myself, except that I thought it would do better than "converb". But on looking it over again I decided that "converb" was the better term after all. As you say; the LORD gives us the language but we make up the metalanguage. "Infinitive" and "supine" (especially "supine") are artificial, at least when applied to languages they aren't already traditionally applied to. --eldin 17:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

I don't know that you really want to call anything a "converb", unless its for one of the two reasons I mentioned at the top of this response. Are the things you're calling "converbs" really totally without any verbal morphology -- really bare roots? If not, or not almost, you might want to consider some other term. Edit: your "uninflected converbs" probably should still be called "converbs". Maybe your "inflected converbs" should be called something else?

The term "verbnoun" is frequently used e.g. in discussing Celtic languages. There are a few other families where it is commonly used. If a language's verb lexicon consists mostly of "lightverb + contentword" combinations, as e.g. Korean's does, then perhaps the content-word is usually a noun, or very nounlike, and can usually be used as a verbal noun; if so it's likely to be called a "verbnoun". eldin 19:53, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

That makes sense in its own terms, but again, I don’t see a practical advantage to that term over others; and more importantly, to me it would damage the “emic plausibility” of the NK materials. Introducing technical jargon from Celtic linguistics is kind of a red flag of conlangery :) -- K.
I wasn't really recommending "verbnoun", I was just mentioning it FYI in case you wanted to consider it. It looks like you did consider it. And had good reasons for deciding against it.
BTW it's not only Celtic languages that term is used to talk about, is it? Not that I can think of any others at the moment. --eldin 17:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

On re-reading all your converbs really look like converbs.

On re-reading all your converbs really look like converbs, because "Switch-reference or different-subject" and "co-reference or same-subject" is the only inflection they take.

I think, though, it would make better sense to call them "co-referent" vs "switch-reference", or "same-subject" vs "different-subject", or some such, rather than "uninflected" vs "inflected".

At least if you'd done so I wouldn't have been confused; OTOH maybe I'm not typical. --eldin 18:42, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, at very least, you’re more attentive to high-precision nomenclature than I am :)
And maybe more than some professional linguists as well; in other words, maybe too attentive. Oh, well. --eldin 16:57, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your critique; it really has been helpful, and pointed out a lot of sloppiness in my presentation. It's a good reminder to me to clean things up and translate out of my private shorthand, instead of just cutting and pasting from my notes! -- K.
I bet I'm sloppier than you! Wanna have a contest? --eldin 16:57, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

BTW Wikipedia says that what I called converbs should really be called coverbs.

I don't know how to make the link, so I'm going to quote. I hope this isn't a copyright violation; since this is in the "talk" part, it probably isn't. I'd make the link instead if I knew how.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In general linguistics, a converb is a non-finite verb form that serves to express adverbial subordination, i.e. notions like 'when', 'because', 'after', 'while'.
Converbs are not to be confused with Coverbs.
The term converb was coined for Mongolian by Ramstedt (1903) and until recently was mostly used by specialists of Mongolic and Turkic languages to describe non-finite verbs that could be used either for coordination or subordination. Nedjalkov & Nedjalkov (1987) first adopted the term for general typological use, followed by Haspelmath & König (1995).
A converb depends syntactically on another verb form, but is not its argument. It can be an adjunct, i.e. an adverbial, but can neither be the only predicate of a simple sentence, nor clausal argument (i.e. it cannot depend on predicates such as ‘begin’, ‘order’, etc.), nor a nominal argument (i.e. it does not occur in subject and object position) (Nedjalkov 1995: 97).
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Coverbs is a term of General linguistics most often applied in languages with serial verb construction, but also for complex predicates consisting of two verbs with one of them being an auxiliary verb contributing different kinds of information like modality, direction or aktionsart. It fulfills a similar function as adpositions would in many Indogermanic languages like Dutch or Russian. Coverbs exist in a number of east and south-east Asian languages (e.g. Chinese), as well as west African languages (e.g. Yoruba).
Coverbs must not be confused with Converbs.

Possibly the Wiki people are confused; possibly the people I thought I was quoting were confused. (I am deliberately ignoring the high probability that it was me who was confused.) --eldin 22:36, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Comment about its linguistic classification

I suggest that the Kilda language should in the case of being classified as Mongolic, be part of the Para-Mongolic subgroup instead of Mongolic as a descendant of Khitan.