Friday, May 12, 2017

Ŋʒädär: Becoming, Turning, Starting, Increasing, Changing

Becoming something, turning into something, starting out doing something, increasingly being something and changing are all somewhat similar notions. So, there's probably very little surprise that Ŋʒädär approaches these in similar ways. However, it also introduces an interesting distinction between different ways things change or begin or turn.

Certain intransitive verb suffixes in Ŋʒädär take a special third person morpheme, even though the usual third person finite present verb takes no such suffix. This suffix is -n.

For "turning adjectival" or "beginning to verb", similar structures appear:
[adjectival stem] [-lUA-] [TAM and intransitive person congruence markers]

[verbal stem] [-lUA-] [TAM and intransitive person congruence markers]
caban bör(ü)l-ät sarctu-lua-bra-n
road rough-get-HAB-3sg_intr_pres
the road gets rough in spring
The -lUA morpheme has a Ćwarmin cognate, -lgU-, which only appears in a few lexical items. In both the Ćwarmin cognates and the Ŋʒädär case, -lUA only signifies changes over time, not changes over space. Thus, if the terrain gets rougher to the west, a different morpheme is used:
[stem] [-(A)rgA] [TAM + intr. person]
caban sıvlı-vımə sarctu-rga-n
road west-through rough-get
the road gets rough towards the west
For more abstract "spaces" over which something changes, both are used:
k'or-gəvi dənt'ı-rga-s-t
salt-on-account-of thirsty-get-1sg_intr-pp*

k'or-gəvi dənt'ı-lua-s-t

"I got thirsty due to (the) salt"
The  acquisition of mass nouns can also use both of these. Most dialects prefix the noun oblique stem by GI- and suffix -LUA-:
it gathers dust
The GI- prefix has some lenition before i: ji- vs. gı-. 

Beginning to do something usually takes -lUA on the verbal stem. If one begins to do something due to geographical location, -rgA can also be used, but is less common since in some sense verbs tend to be distributed temporally.

For becoming [a noun] two approaches are in common use. The first method distinguishes volitionality of the subject. The second signals the definiteness of the complement. The first uses the verb to be with the -lua suffix: ihlüä...
Volition marking is optional, so the lack of such a marker does not imply lack of volition, it only permits for it. The marker is the presence of the reflexive pronoun:
Arbas kammauv ihlüä-n
Arbas chieftain-compl become-3sg
Arbas becomes (a) chieftain

Arbas kamma-ɣuv ŋul-ʒuv ihlüä-n
Arbas kamma-ɣuv ŋul ihlüä-3sg
Arbas chieftain-compl self become
Arbas (has applied himself and therefore) becomes (a) chieftain
The reflexive pronoun seems to appear in both the complement case and in the absolutive case. The complement case probably is a result of some kind of dislike for having two absolutive arguments with an intransitive verb and then going for the other case that is present in the clause. This varies from speaker to speaker and community to community.

The other method used ŋul- as the root for the verb:
Arbas kamma-ɣuv ŋul-(l)ua-n
Arbas chieftain-compl self-begin-3sg
Arbas becomes the chieftain
The Ŋʒädär constructions for these are unique to the Ŋʒädär branch of the Ćwarmin-Ŋʒädär-Dagurib languages. The Dagurib branch retains a less synthetic set of constructions with some cognates to the Ŋʒädär -lUA and -ArgA morphemes. The Ćwarmin branch only has a very small number of cognates, and is using quite different constructions.

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