Conlangery 134 Converbs

Conlangery 134 Converbs

Published: 17-12-05

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Transcript

George
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Speaker
(Top of the Show Greeting)
George
Welcome to Conlangery, the podcast about constructed languages and the people who create them. I'm George Corley. With me down the road aways is William Annis.
William
Hello.
George
And - Matt - where are you?
Matt Pearson
I'm in Portland Oregon.
George
All right. So in Oregon we've got Matt Pearson. Yay.
Matt
Hello. Thank you for inviting me.
George
Yeah. We have Matt on because of - not - we have discussed Matt Pearson's conlang Okuna before without him, but we're here just because of one feature that you've included in Okuna, right? - The converbs. Matt: That’s right
George
Which we're going to talk about sort of generally. Since it's your first time on the show can you like introduce yourself like really quick.
Matt
So as you said my name is Matt Pearson and I've been into conlanging for probably most of my life, since I was a preteen. Okuna is a language I've been working on for probably the last 25 to 30 years so that's certainly my longest project to date. What else about me? So I teach linguistics at Reed College in Portland Oregon which I've been doing for many years. And my sort of non-conlanging life as a linguist involves working on Austronesian languages, in particular Malagasy. And apart from Okuna probably the conlanging project that I'm best known for is - a long time ago now when I was a graduate student I created the language for a TV show called Dark Skies which ran on NBC for about one year then sank into obscurity. But I do have a tiny bit of professional conlanging experience. George: Right. Right. So thanks for that. And again there’s a feature of Okuna that we're we're going to be talking about today - but we're going to talk generally about it in natlangs and what what you can do with it - and that is verbs.
Speaker 11
William, you're the one who's been wanting to do the converb topic for a long time. You want to introduce generally what they are?
William
Sure. So I thought we should bring on Matt because both of us gave talks at LCC 7 that incidentally involved converbs and then we both immediately got a bunch of questions about converbs right. So there were actually two or three. There
Speaker 9
was actually one or two other talks I think at LCAC 7 that involved converts. So it became something of an unintentional theme of the conference.
Speaker 7
You know it's going to become the new ergative city.
Speaker 12
I hope so. So so first of all I just love cottager as a name is terribly confusing for complainers because it sounds like you know a constructed bird but that's really not what it is. The exact definition is a lively debate topic. A few years ago my my hero Martin husband wrote or edited a book about conjurers and now everyone argues with him about what is or is not a convert. But the fundamental features of converts are that they cannot be used by themselves to form a complete conc clause. Rather they do not form arguments to other verbs so I could say you know staying up late is a bad idea and so I've got the clause. Stay up late is acting as the subject that converts are not used for that sort of thing. And mostly they do things what we normally think of as somehow dependent.
Speaker 12
That's where most of us will immediately recognize before is after because things like that and sometimes are called adverbial and hussle mount makes the analogy the participles are verbal adjectives and convert's are verbal adverbs so it's a way to link clauses into other clauses which is sometimes quite precise sometimes quite new secrecy relationships that are vaguely adverbially and sets the same framework and their most common. In her final languages hooka in fact I'm not sure of any nonvote final language that uses them heavily. I thought yeah go ahead.
Speaker 7
I think one thing that might be useful when we're talking about con verbs also is Convers at least in one of sources were saying are classified as a type of non finite verb. Yes verb form. And if you compare them to other types of non finite verbs you get first of all the adverbial thing is is like that. That the mainstay with the conver. William you just used a participle as an argument infinitives are usually like the complement of a verb right.
Speaker 12
So what depends on the language. Oh dear I am very I I I always someone will always get angry at me if I talk about verb finiteness so I've been trying to stay away from that.
Speaker 7
Yeah. Okay. Well maybe someday we will try to tackle that topic but con verbs are usually considered not finite correct.
Speaker 12
Well certainly less finite than your main clause right.
Speaker 7
Right. But. So there adverbial adverbial seems to be like the one thing that is really like the solid thing everybody wants to say they're adverbial the degree that they're like had verbs. People are arguing about think. But yeah.
Speaker 12
And basically their function is to solve certain kinds of problems that in the western languages most of us are feel really with uses pendent clauses conjunctions maybe participles. And here's part of the debate. Some people consider part of Cibils a kind of conver. So that's what their function is in that sense they're not particularly exotic. Right. But we'll get to some some details about how they're formed in a few moments. If you're interested in Condor's it's really easy to find papers online and I have a zillion of them to this recording and there are three or four hot spots language hotspots. These things happen a lot of Turkic and Mongolian languages are the Caucasus where they have they abundance abundantly have them and in the Ethiopian language region all sorts of completely unrelated languages all have Condor's. And I mentioned this during the Coptic episode and then that pointed out of the clause chaining which we'll get to in a moment in Papua New Guinea also becomes a hotspot for these kinds of things right.
Speaker 9
There are some certainly some well known examples of Claw's chaining languages up in ogni that look like they have things that we might classify as Han verbs based on their function on their form right.
Speaker 13
But they are rigid like the first place where they were identified was Turkic and Mongolian.
Speaker 12
Yes the word Condor was invented for some Mongolian languages I believe and in older literature they get called all sorts of horrible things like you know Chera and run a dividend. You know this kind of thing and that kind of thing so that the old fashioned people are settling on compered even if they disagree about margins you things peripheral phenomena. But I'm okay with that because it makes it easier to talk about that. The converse is that we find in Turkic Mongolian and caucus Caucasian languages follow a basically similar pattern information and then the African situation is a little bit more debatable. And we'll get to that a bit. I consider them still converts because they do all of the same jobs. The only difference is there is usually inflected for person which is frequently not the case in in any other language areas.
Speaker 7
Right.
Speaker 12
But they're still dependent still demand it cannot occur and are caused by themselves even though they're marked for liefer Herson and other things but yet cannot be used long run in terms of forming them. Verbs are much less in general much less marked for verbal features than made verbs less marks for aspect less marked for tense. Not at all marks the person in most languages that have I'm expecting the African xem. And then the only other weirdness is often there will be a separate negative convo affix so if you have a general in perspective conver you will have a general negative Perfecta convertable to be formed separately then rather just have a Negator floating in tension where you can talk about the details of the forms a little bit more or less just talk about some of the functions. The first one is is clause changing.
Speaker 12
It's not subordinate and in most languages with verbs clause Cheney is something that can be used or the covers can be used for what may or may not be the primary function. So an example I went to the store bought some bread went home and watched TV in the conver language or Claw's training non final language like an Guinea only last clause. Watching TV would be fully inflected. OK. I went to the store bought some bread went home with all the convert forms. All right. And then the last one would be interesting.
Speaker 8
Right.
Speaker 9
So you might have something like eye to the store go confrere bred by conver go conver and TV watch and then watch would be where you'd have the past tense marking maybe marking for the subject being first person singular and so on.
Speaker 14
So when I first encountered these languages and their pop when New Guinea context they kind of blew my mind as you were sort of treated to this entire long narrative and you have to wait until the very last are in the chain before you get the tense aspect and mood information.
Speaker 7
It's it's very exotic from a European perspective that's that's an interesting thought about this. I would wonder how that interacts with other parts of the grammar if the these languages are going to be more likely to have overt pronouns or things like that or like discourse things like are they going to since they have a tense way at the end if they're going to have to be more likely to put like things like yesterday and today and stuff in there earlier on.
Speaker 15
But that's an interesting thought.
Speaker 12
Right. So some of these languages do inflect for person. And then there are some languages in the caucuses that are strongly pro drop and then they can get quite hairy keeping track of who's doing what to whom. Right. Right. And we'll talk about this a little bit. The concert forms themselves can be either very simple like there are basically two to four suffixes and that's the end of it or they can be quite complex to manage things like coercions.
Speaker 16
So if you have a small number of conclaves you're typically going to have one that represents simultaneous action. He is sitting and eating he sitting Congar eating fighting for room right. Then you get to have a second one which is basically a.. It might be called perfective and that was my example. I went to the store and bought some bread you know to the store went or go back to cover bought some bread you know whatever you're tense and aspect stuff. So the most fundamental in most language is our comfort that indicates continuous action and the conver that can be used for basically sequencing. These are both things that Haskell tends to decode narrative calling verbs or they can be used negatively. I mean they're the most common ones that you'll see in English typically uses you know while or after or just sequences colossus like I get my Starbucks read we just understand because of the tenseness was the third order language is like ancient Greek or Latin used participles galore.
Speaker 16
Right. To do things like this you know having gone you know in the old high translation he's you know gone to the store you know I'm watching right. Right. Right. So those are the two most simple. You might have an even simpler circumstance where you have a common verb and a conver clause has some relationship to the main clause and it may depend very much on context in determining what that is.
Speaker 7
But it is very interesting. So if you have a but it is an interesting thing if you have like a conver form that can indicate simultaneous action and one that can indicate sequence that that is a very interesting thing to play with with narratives. That's right. And
Speaker 12
as Matt said you get on piles of these things in languages that have them.
Speaker 7
Yeah. So that would be fun to read stories would get.
Speaker 12
Yeah I mean I've got one project of my own now that I'm working on and I once you train yourself to use them you use them all the time. The simple core functions. Okay. So those are the simplest combo then you have the more complex orse or distinctions can be made the more adverbial senses that effectively act as what we would do with conjunctions in English. So if I'm saying that right has no conjunctions at all but it does have it does have 20 coxa conquer. And they can be quite I called them fussy in my notes but surprisingly specific so we've gotten reference to a paper on Akbah which is the Caucasian language I forget which branch and how this horribly confusing thing called the general comes. They have a look at it conver which is marvelous. This turns a phrase effectively into a kind of noun that can take locative case marking.
Speaker 12
So he went to where his wife was cooking his you know wife cooking conver case marker. He went right okay. There's one that they called inceptive. So from the moment when the action began as soon as before as well that means just before you have traditional and concessive so consensuses like although you can have it the same way as you can because purpose and resold in order to with the result that they're my favorite is the gradual where in English we use the more the more right the bigger they are the harder that all that's exactly. And they've got a separate conver just for that I try to imagine how that works.
Speaker 14
So you would have something like he is big and then this conver for him also. That would be how you'd say something Urias heart or he falls exactly.
Speaker 13
Yup. There are some examples in the in the paper. People can look at. So
Speaker 12
there are examples of all of these. Yeah. Archie has a marvelous Condor. It's an imperative cumbered. It is only used when your main verb is also an inheritance. OK. I just love the specificity of that.
Speaker 7
So the main verb is has to be imperative and then Gascón verb is used in the is is imperative as well. Yes. Okay.
Speaker 8
Would be something like. Go and get bread and go with the imperative.
Speaker 12
Confort for Yeah. I mean normally I would expect to use one of those sequencing conquerable or something like that. So that was interesting I don't know how common that is. I would guess not very right now.
Speaker 11
Now that I'm thinking about it one way that you can relate the I guess the the reason it's called a conver maybe the Kania's is the Collaton con with right.
Speaker 13
Right. Yes but yes. So like an adjunct verb.
Speaker 12
Interesting. And this sort specificity is not. I mean it's this examples weird Archie's human eye which I think it has is but you can't get. Verbs whose function is incredibly fussy so far as one can verb whose name I'm forgetting I think they call it progressive which is basically only used with three main verbs.
Speaker 7
Scuse me and is used basically to for some aspectual it some exclusively in combination with the copula or the verb who rule. The existential function and then three other verbs remain C and fine. So yeah that's interesting. Right. So
Speaker 12
you can get quite restricted range of views for some of them. I think they just become routine and routine dramatically so effectively. And so they're not really freely usable as as conjunctions in the way you've been talking about so far.
Speaker 8
When you when a language has this many different kinds of converts this raises the issue that you raised in the beginning which is that the term conver is a little bit hazy. What it can. Everybody seems to agree that these are dependent forms of some sorts that they have typically reduced marking for things like tense and aspect in person and so on. But beyond that I think there's a lot of variation how people use the term conver. I wonder if another person working on a Bach might have opted to call some of these things other things. Are all yeah they're all clearly dependent cards and it's cool that there are so many of them right.
Speaker 12
Yeah yeah it's fun as well talk towards the end about the historical development of these days they really seem to cycle through them and chew through them and generate new ones. News Obote's pretty quickly.
Speaker 17
OK. That's that's an thought.
Speaker 7
Let's talk about single convert type in any given language to narrative and subordinating job so OK.
Speaker 11
Other sorts of adverbial senses. You have another paper for us and yet another paper.
Speaker 12
So this is kind of related to our episode sometime ago about auxiliary constructions com verbs. Basically if you've got Condor's your auxiliary constructions you are going to use those typically instead of participles or infinitives or the like. Or at least they will be the dominant part. So in all liked that which is a language from the Ethiopian does all sorts of very subtle aspectual refinements but also adverbs senses with Congar constructions and where the main verb that is one of these auxiliaries. So for example the verb to know when it is used with a conver clause it represents an experiential sort of like English uses the perfect I have eaten you know course indicates an experience rather than simple statement of fact. They would use no cause they conquered coughs remove oneself or the converse clause represents an irreversible state. OK. Yeah to indicate something you've done it to an extreme degree.
Speaker 12
It uses you know what when you consider the content of the sentence in a Condry clause and if it's a transitive verb you use Kheyl and if it's an intransitive verb you use Di. So this is a classic example of those words indicating extreme degree. Wow okay. Yeah. And then marvelously it has words that specifically men spend the night doing something spend a day doing something or spend a season or you're doing something. And again this what we would normally do as an actor or a propositional cause well it as with her pussy Kannur balls.
Speaker 7
You talked about your. You also mention that converts interact with when you have a what they call satellite frame versus verb frame language which is something we talked about on episode number 14 yes where satellite framed or s language is like English.
Speaker 11
Right.
Speaker 7
The the the paper clue off the table. The verb is encoding the manner of of the motion. And then the there's some satellite in English it's a proposition. But there's some satellite that tells you what what the direction was or something whereas in Spanish as an example you'd say El Paso Sally or Blondell the the paper left flying from the table basically and this is something it's sort of like it's a weather a language is more likely to do one strategy than the other in discourse it's not necessarily like a strict grammatical structure thing but you're saying that you've you noted that con verbs in languages with com verbs usually end up being like the satellite that shows manner. Right.
Speaker 12
Right. So they're much more like the language like the romance languages so Turkish is a good example because it is both the language or leads as it being of language. And it has covers right up. So where French or Spanish would use you know a participle to indicate manner. If you got on verbs you use that instead. And that sort of makes sense.
Speaker 8
Yet since the function of these Converse's is at Burby also in some cases the convert will express something like manner or means by which the fact that's named by the main verb is carried out. Right. So it sort of makes sense semantically that language has a verb on that does that look like Turkish does that it what it would use them to encode Mandarin these kind of ocean events.
Speaker 12
Right. As sort of an implication of this sort of moving on a little further if you want to avoid the number of propositions or postpositions you have condoms can fill in some of those roles as well. We also have done you know an entire commentary episode about auxiliary verb constructions. And as I said earlier if you are verbs they will be the dominant feature you used for your auxiliary. And for an example of a simultaneous convert plus some form of B is quite common for progressions for example has hinted in some of the earlier well lighter examples I gave and also some things were auxiliary verb constructions you can get basically complex predicates where a comparable form plus the main verb together form and that they just mean something completely separate all by themselves. So my favorite example is and it shows up in Woolite talks about Convers all the time. The phrase these pants are too tight has these pants slapped conver hold. Okay so slack in the counterpart plus hold together form a single unit meaning to talked excitedly. Oh yes.
Speaker 8
These hands hold slightingly or something or something like that.
Speaker 12
Yeah I mean you can sort of see how it got going but now it's become sort of a mixed race yes. Another good one is twist calm verb turn means that you capture someone through trickery or by misleading. OK. Why not. I would very much like to see a good online dictionary in English because my heart is not up to that dictionary. When these things happen funky things can happen with prosody in all I take example the Kondrat or itself is even further reduced from an already simplified form and you can't state material between these two verbs and the stress moves around Ocky ways. So again this becomes a way to generate interesting vocabulary. Idiomatically using a conver plasmid verb combinations.
Speaker 7
It sounds like there's a path to medicalization there in that the con verb forms could start to get attached to the auxillary forms.
Speaker 12
Yes and it's entirely possible that some things that are I should have made note of this. Yeah it would not surprise me to see languages where it says oh we've got verbs. No. Here's this kind of complex. Looking progressive and it turns out that historically that was originally a counter plus a verb that's just become fossilized over time. Right. Okay so as we talked about earlier it can get a bit complicated keeping track of who's the subject and the object of each of these verbs if you have a whole slew of conver clauses and then one little lonely in the end who isn't a subject and in the simplest case you simply inherit from the main clause. That's the simplest case and I think the most common for the most generic congers especially the ones that we talked about in the narrative sense of the sort of sequencing and simultaneous action very frequently these languages in addition to just having you know the simultaneous and sequencing of convertable have separate simultaneous and sequence encounters for switch reference.
Speaker 12
So one with the separate same one is when the subject is different. And we've talked about switch referencing the past. I don't know that we devoted an entire episode to it.
Speaker 15
I know that we've we talked about it quite a bit.
Speaker 12
Yeah it comes up regularly and it's possible you might get inflected convers. Some people like to argue about whether these are Condor's or not but because they act so much the same. I'm going to go the camp that says that they are. This is most common in Africa but it does pop up in other places. You might have come were the inflection is defective. But but by that I mean that it's not as clearly marked for example. Never Again has three classes subject marking on convers. The first one. All of the forms are identical except the second singular and third singular and those two look alike. So basically there are two endings one for first person and all of the plurals and then another four for the second and third singular. There is a second class of endings that are all identical except for the second singular and third single again except this time no different.
Speaker 12
So that gives you a whopping three forms. So you might have reductions in his election or you might have things that are fully inflected for person all of the time. Like in Coptic I guess is the example and in some other languages in the Ethiopian Zone and I'm in a league to an paper talking about converts in the African context so I give examples and within a single language you may have different different kinds of Convers may have different kinds of agreement assumptions. Some might mark this subject some might not. Some might prefer a same subject interpretation. Some might prefer a different subject and your potations and others all bets are off. You have to determine in context so you don't have to just pick one way of answering the Echo referencing arguments. QUESTION You might have several answers or several solutions. All in the same language. All right. OK. We want to talk anything about function or other things before we talk about the historical stuff.
Speaker 11
I don't know. Matt do you have any other notes before we get to historical.
Speaker 14
No I think we can move on. I mean all I can talk about some of the functions of Convers in my conlang when we get there. Sure. So that will fill in some of the gaps.
Speaker 12
Hulka. So all the papers I've found on the historical development of Convers indicates that they are most often. Maybe there are other ways but all the papers I find say that they are basically case forms or some sort of direction from verbal as nations.
Speaker 18
So like an action now running like running is fun. That running becomes the basis of creating some sort of conver. Now this is confusing in English because the NG ending both ORMs nouns and adjectives but I'm talking about the noun forms here. One of the papers I reference says morphological syntactic and semantic similarities between K suffix nouns actions and convert's abound in many Uralic languages. As new convertable form seemed to be constantly developing from nominally inflected action.
Speaker 7
OK that's so trusting there's lots of churn.
Speaker 19
And then I have a paper to a nice really good die Prochnik discussion for some Tabet Hoberman languages.
Speaker 7
Yeah. So I guess the idea is you get a nominalized form and novelizations those can be like sources of infinitives too it's not unexpected that a non finite form comes from a novelisation but the other thing is like you get a novelisation and then sometimes you get a case attached to that and then that can be how you get all your various different kinds of converts because you could you can just have like them all be from the lucrative case of the nomination. Or you get to have several locative cases or you can have various oblique cases getting stuck in and ending up with different meanings as Khane verbs like different tense and aspect meanings right.
Speaker 16
Right. In fact one of the papers I linked to gets list of case marking senses and they're likely Konner sense outcome.
Speaker 19
And this makes a certain amount of sense. I mean English is kind of weird if you want to nominalized over cause you make the subject the possessor like his talking so loudly irritated me. So we had. You know he's talking loudly and then we just attach the subject as his answer to it is talking so loudly so it's not like it's weird for nominalized verbs to be used as clauses. That happens all the time. It is very common. Hmm
Speaker 18
. There are some languages that have Asili Hudzik novelisation and are the primary way of forming subornation. So that's that's pretty expected and usual. I couldn't find anything good explaining how you get conjuror kinds of the African variety where you clearly have these non finite things or they have to be dependent but they're still fully inflected which might include both subject and object working. So those are those are less obviously derived from normalizing forms can be right but maybe they are.
Speaker 11
You kind of would expect for the normalization to get rid of a lot of the inflection.
Speaker 7
Right. So exactly. There's a question of were those nominalized then somehow accreted those agreement for that agreement morphology and stuff later. Or is it from another source. Right. So this movie will his'n.
Speaker 8
Yeah sorry. This is pure speculation on my part but I was just thinking of another possible source for converts. I don't know if this has ever been documented in any actual language but one possibility is that they might arise in a verb final language. From the analysis of a verb and a following conjunction sort of a word meaning and or something like that. The real analysis of the conjunction with the preceding verb into a single verb form. I don't know if there's any basis for por. Saying that that's happened in any.
Speaker 20
Links that have convert's but I'm thinking of a phenomenon that's sort of similar to converse in some oceanic languages that I'm familiar with. In particular a language called Arrow gun which also is also known as Sierre SYP which is language spoken in Vanuatu and in this language you get these constructions that sort of look like the mirror image of these conver constructions and these are final languages. So Aramov is SBO rather than S.O.P. But you can get Chanes verbs one after the other. Where in the case of Aera among and only the first verb has subject agreement and tense an aspect marking on it and then all of the following verbs are sort of dependent verbs so to to say something like.
Speaker 8
I went to the store and bought bread bought with the sort of in this dependent form and only the verb meaning went would be in the whole form and if you look at these dependent forms Sonera Mangia they all begin with a prefix that looks very much like the word for and in the language so it looks kind of like what's happened is that the word for AMD has been sort of reanalyzed as a prefix on the verb. Kind of supplanting the the tense in agreement morphology on that verb. And I wonder if anything life had may have happened in verb final languages that could be that could be an explanation for why these things look more like Main Claw's verbs than they do in most languages. Perhaps converse. It's true.
Speaker 12
Yeah I do remember reading some stuff about Rianne that re analysis of conjunctions sometimes getting dragged into this mess. There's also the situation in some of the African languages where possession is marked with an ethics some already. So you're halfway to person marking if you've got that right.
Speaker 7
I don't think it's necessarily you know that's an interesting hypothesis and I'm sure we can leave it to the. Well you can investigate it on the FNM excite or we can leave it to historical linguists to investigate that.
Speaker 21
But I think actually this is a good exercise for conlang you should do is to not necessarily derive these things in the same way that we know natural languages do them although that's a good guide. But like try to think about different ways that you could get this this this feature in your language. Like trying to get Khane verbs by sticking conjunctions on them. You could get a lot of the things you could use different conjunctions and get different types of converts out of that right.
Speaker 11
So it's definitely something good and if you're in naturalistic conlang it still means that you're thinking about where did this come from.
Speaker 7
Right. Right and how how does where it comes from a fact what the language looks like now.
Speaker 8
Exactly. That's yeah that's why I mentioned that as a possibility. It certainly seems like something that a language could do even if we don't have examples of natural languages that have that. Certainly there is no reason I can think of why a conlang couldn't do that right.
Speaker 11
Let's actually move on to conlang a little bit. Who wants to start first. I haven't been conversational virginal so let me.
Speaker 22
William I leave it up to you.
Speaker 12
Well I mean I have slowly developing personal project code that has been using them more and more over time and the CC I used them as an example of avoiding what you man called the just another just add another affix probably and sometimes get youngling rather than create a new separate future for my created an auxiliary construction using the conver and and an auxiliary. And so that's really what I've been focusing on there. I'm trying not to look at that marble as an tasty vocalised or go with if it adds 20 miles off the bat. It's been very interesting to play with and and finding ways to keep using them.
Speaker 11
It's it can definitely be a way to like whether you want to do like just one conver or to convert four or 20 of them like that can be an interesting thing for you to to like them.
Speaker 7
Just like with anything like try to like set up my system and then try to express everything use it with that system right. Do you agree with that. Yeah. Matt then you use the Maino CUNA and in your talk you were saying it was one of the strategies you used to avoid having proposition's right.
Speaker 20
Yes. Ad positions in general. So I Okun's may be an interesting case study from the Conlang perspective because I sort of stumbled into Convers as a way to solve a problem that I had set for myself and I wasn't even really aware that convert's existed in natural languages. When
Speaker 22
I first hit upon this idea at least I had never really looked into that. So in in some ways I sort of independently invented that and it's always kind of fun when that sort of thing happens.
Speaker 8
So I don't know how much detail you want me to get into on S but oh CUNA formerly known as Toscana has been around for a long time and it's undergone a lot of changes because I keep tinkering with it over the years as the Convery sort of grew out of two or three different changes that happened over the course of the language. First of all the language changed its word order. So when I was originally working on it it was it had initial language with basically VSO or SBO word order. And over time I decided I wanted to be a verb final language. It began to acquire more and more features of had final languages and it was sort of not making sense to me as a language in terms of the word order until I decided Well let me put the verb at the end and see how that changes the language and the various things sort of fell into place.
Speaker 8
So the change of the language to being a verb final language is one thing that sort of caused these converts to come into being. Another thing that caused them to come into being was so you mentioned earlier this distinction between languages and the languages. Right. So languages that encode so when in motion events languages that encode the path of motion as being sort of the main verb in the predicate versus languages that encode the manner of motion as the main predicate English being an example of the latter so I think your example was something like the paper flew off the table where the main verb their fly expresses the matter of motion and then we have a proposition off that sort of expresses the trajectory of the object in motion and that that's different from languages like Spanish where verbs tend to lexical lies.
Speaker 8
The trajectory of ocean and I you know I sort of in the ongoing quest to make Okung no longer be a reflex avocation of English I decided I wanted Okun's to be more like Spanish in this respect.
Speaker 22
So I began to develop lots of verbs with meanings like go on to go off of go through go into go out of and so on where where the the verb is sort of expressing the trajectory of motion right at the same time I was making some some changes to the case system and wanting to simplify both simplify and complex it by the case system and in different ways. And I've sort of talked about that in an earlier LCAC talk. And sort of. Kind of at the confluence of all of these different bits of tinkering that I was doing on the language. I hit upon the idea that I was exploring in my most recent LCAC talk about getting rid of ad positions from the language. And so I was thinking about well how in my language am I going to say things like the paper flew off the table.
Speaker 22
I don't have a word for off right if I don't have a proposition that means off. So is in part making Okuda into a language that's lexical as is the trajectory as as the main verb. So to have a verb that means something like to go off of a surface was sort of the solution that I had. But then how do you express the manner. Right so. So I could say things like the paper went off of the table. But how do I express that it did that by flying. My original solution for that was to actually add an affix solution.
Speaker 8
So I basically started by playing around with having a bunch of manner affixes that get added to verbs. These little prefixes that we get attached to the verbs to express the manner of motion. So you'd have a basic verb that means something like go into or enter and then you'd add a prefix to it that expresses. To do this in a running manner. So that would form the verb that means to run into and then to do it in a walking manner to do it in a crawling manner to do it in a swimming manner or a flying manner and so on.
Speaker 7
That sounds like that would balloon very quietly.
Speaker 22
It did balloon very quickly. Now there are some natural languages that do do things like this so there are some indigenous languages of North America that actually have these kinds of manner prefixes room and some of them survive a little bit in Okhrana is kind of frozen forums. So I've sort of read condom as historical developments over time. But I but I didn't want to have this ballooning of prefixes and I could imagine you know I kept imagining more and more different kinds of manner of motion that I might want to express as these prefixes and it was to the system was just getting out of hand.
Speaker 23
So then I decided well OK I better have a separate word for expressing the manner of motion but I don't want that to be the main verb so why don't I just invent this new verb for him. I think at first I called it an adverbial form that a hook you know so that the language already has stated verbs. So a verb meaning to be tall for example. So there are no there are no separate adjectives in Nocona like in many other common lines and many Natte lines there's no distinction between an adjective category and a verb category. So I already had state of verbs in the language and I needed a way to form manner adverbs from them so I figured I would just change the ending on the verb to form a manner adverb. So from a verb meaning quick you could have changed the suffix on the verb and that would form an adverbial form meaning quickly.
Speaker 22
So I mean it's such a form anyway so I decided that I would use that same form in these motion verb constructions so adding that adverbial suffix to a verb meaning fly and then pairing that with a main verb meaning mTOR gives me something like enter in a flying manner or enter flying Li. And that was going to be my way of expressing fly into and then I wouldn't need a proposition into because the part of the point here was getting rid of propositions from language. So this you know separating out the word that expresses manner was you know enabled me to make the system fully productive I didn't have to invent a new prefix every time I wanted to. You know every time I came up with a different manner in which something could be done. And then once side had this construction at this point I didn't really know about converts I've sort of heard about them in therea and a few other languages but I never really looked into them because my linguistic research focuses primarily on languages that don't have convers.
Speaker 22
So they were sort of low in my level of awareness but once I sort of had them in the grammar I was interested in thinking about other things that I could do with them. So it's not just motion events but other kinds of events that can involve a particular manner in which something is done. So I think in my grammar for Okung I have an example of a sentence something like He belted the rat with stones and having a separate verb meaning Helt I decided that I would express that concept by a combination of verbs.
Speaker 23
So there would be a main verb meaning to hit and then a conver form that would be an throw.
Speaker 8
So the way in which it gets expressed in Nocona is he kept the A he hit the rock with the stone throwing or by means of throwing so throe shows up as a convert modifying the main Verg kit. And the more you sort of explore the possibilities of this construction the more situations you are you find where it might be useful to use a conver.
Speaker 22
So another situation where they where they arose is so think about a sentence like I don't know if you guys have talked on this podcast about secondary predication. Resultative constructions not a whole lot. So things like he hammered the nail flat right. ROACH If you think about what that means. So he hammered the nail until a particular point was reached the point where the nail was flat right. So every language ought to have some way of expressing things like this but not all languages do it the same way and I was thinking well how would I do this and open that. So the idea I hit upon is so as I said the language already had state of verbs. So
Speaker 23
a verb meaning be flat and a way of forming in coded verbs from that. So a verb meaning either to become flat or to make something flat depending on whether it's transitive or intransitive so I figured well why don't I start with that.
Speaker 22
I'll make that sort of the core of the predicate and express the hammering parts by means of a satellite. So here's where the convert comes in. Right. So the way of expressing this this concept he hammer the nail flat in Okina is he flattened a nail and then you add a convert meaning hammer or hit with a hammer and that expresses the manner in which the platinum took place. So those are basically some of the uses for these constructions that I came up with and I eventually decided to call them convert's after doing a little bit more reading about converts in natural languages and realizing that what I had basically hit on was something that lots of natural languages were already using so I might as well use the Senate term for them.
Speaker 12
Great. I didn't give them a list but there are languages that have separate dedicated manner com verbs. Yes yes and.
Speaker 22
Okung actually makes a distinction between those manner com verbs and what I call participles although I'm using the term rather differently from how a hospital would use it. And these are the these are the sort of dependent forms that do things like express simultaneous or a.. Action right. Right. But they they happen to have the same suffix as the adverbial com verb.
Speaker 23
CONAN So I can I can tell the story that historically these things are related even if they're not related and chronically so do your first forms of Congress.
Speaker 12
Could they take additional arguments or were they simply more adverbial.
Speaker 24
So they say well they could not themselves take additional arguments. So my my way of conceiving of these things is a little bit different from what. Conver constructions in some languages like the Mongolian and Ethiopian languages you were talking about work like so in these Okuda constructions the conver and the main verb sort of combined together to form.
Speaker 25
A kind of a compact so that the analysis stage where the convert in the main verb are sort of combined together to form a unit which you talked about a little bit a little bit ago in my mind that stage has happened in CUNA. Okay so these things are kind of a single clause right. So there is a constraint on when you can add a conver to the main verb which is that it has to have the same argument structure as the main verb. So we don't they can't be used to say. The. The. Person doing the hammering and the person doing the flattening or difference. Right. So the the two verbs have to be combining together to form what is conceptually a single event. Okay. So they sort of the two verbs sort of share their arguments and it's a little bit complicated how it works.
Speaker 25
Basically if the two verbs have different numbers of arguments so say the the main verb has only one argument and the convert has two arguments. Then the combined construction will have the maximum number of arguments that are allowed by the two verbs that have been combined.
Speaker 12
So the total construction would have two arguments because it sort of inherits its argument structure from two verbs that you can buy and then and then if again if your listeners want to do this Nikol another possibility to have various kinds of feelings changing hanky panky like assets or antique anticancer or other things to check away arguments they're going to confuse you or your. And major interaction.
Speaker 24
Exactly. This is another bit another bit of minimalism in Okung is no argument changing morphology no passives no anti passives no cause. So I want to see how far I could get without having any of those things added. So obviously conver constructions and Okon are going to work very differently from you in a language that does have things like passives or MGP assets. I just wanted to mention one other thing where one other place in Okonjo where it converts pop up. And that is in polite commands or polite requests. So the word for please in Oakland comes at the very end of the clause if you want to say please close the door the door close and then the word for please at the very end and close. Well you might think of us being the main verb in the clause actually shows up in the confort form.
Speaker 24
And the reason for that is that the word meaning please is was originally a verb. That meant something like. Fulfill a request. So the sort of historically the way an account that you express please close the door is something like May you fulfill a request by means of closing the door okay. So the manner so. So the closing of the door is sort of the manner in which the request is full.
Speaker 12
So because construction has this historical source the verb for clothes is going to show up in the confort form right in the Turkic languages it is extremely common for there to be a benefactor or also an auto effective which will just skip over that where you know I did this action for someone right. And you know sometimes you get an applicative for that. But in the Turkic languages very commonly you have again the Condor caused representing the action and then the major is just a form of to give ah and indicating that you're doing something for someone else and that's a pretty obvious extension of that. So
Speaker 11
another way that politeness can get involved with your Condor's or get well that's about all the time we have that that's very enlightening and I am inspired to create a language that has Khane verbs. I don't know if I went to the language I'm working on right now has the machinery that I could get converts out of it but I was actually thinking of creating putting Convers into another language family. But anyway whatever I decide to I hope people are inspired to look into Khane verbs. It's definitely like a deep category too like read in and we will have a lot of citations with many.
Speaker 15
I am I'm torturing George with the number of links I think that it is not as not a big deal it just got to how you just get to put them in the proper format and everything.
Speaker 11
And before I go I do want to apologize for the late episode last month. I just end of semester has been so crazy. Hopefully this episode will come up on time. But like at present I have not.
Speaker 26
I like halfway through editing the last episode so it probably came out a couple of weeks late.
Speaker 6
Sorry about that but I will try to make sure I maintain the schedule in the future anyway. Go look into confort if you want to put things. Put them to use in your language and I hope you have lots of ideas for what you could use them for.
Speaker 4
If you want to use them and I'm going to say happy Conlin's thank you for listening to conlang or you can find our archives and show no Sekhon langar dot com can also follow us on Facebook Twitter and Tumblr our web space is provided by the language creation society. Our site was designed by Bianca Richards and our theme music is by gold Novis online Harry is under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial share alike license you are free to use our show for any non-commercial work as long as credit is provided to online re podcast and you use a similar Creative Commons license. Conlang or is supported by our listeners. Please visit patriotic dot com slash con langar and give your support. Thank you.
Speaker 1
Can attack this the end of the show cause I keep forgetting about it. We have a new 20 dollar patron. His name is Graham Hill. So thank you Graeme and thank you to all of our patrons.

Conlangery Podcast/Conlangery 134 Converbs (last edited 2018-01-14 01:32:32 by Fordsmender)