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Verb Forms inside Verb Forms.

The Case of the Modern Spoken Georgian Pro-Verbs


Nino Amiridze Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS Trans 10 3512 JK Utrecht The Netherlands Nino.Amiridze@let.uu.nl

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.1/24

Abbreviations
AOR DAT DO3 ERG IO1 IO3 NOM PPART PRV PV S1 S3 SG TS = = = = = = = = = = = = = = aorist (simple past) dative 3rd person direct object ergative 1st person indirect object 3rd person indirect object nominative past participle pre-radical vowel preverb 1st person subject 3rd person subject singular thematic sufx (stem formant).

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.2/24

Verbal Prexes
The order of prexes in a Georgian verb form is xed. However, it is not necessary for them to be realized simultaneously: Preverb-Agreement.Prex-Pre.Radical.Vowel-Root
Preverbs express perfectivity and in movement verbs additionally direction in space and orientation towards or away from the 1st/2nd person. The slot for agreement prex can be occupied by subject as well as object markers. Pre-radical vowels act as valency changing afxes.

In nite verb forms nothing can interfere between the prexes, be put immediately before the preverb or immediately after the pre-radical vowel.

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.3/24

Non-Canonical Prex
Modern spoken Georgian has developed special constructs which display a pronominal element imasimmediately preceding the agreement prex: Preverb-imas-Agreement.Prex-Pre.Radical.VowelExample 1 (man) (s)he.ERG (me) I.DAT (is) it.NOM gada-imas-m-i-kn-a PV-imas-IO1.SG-PRV-do-S3.SG.AOR

He VERBed it for me from one place/thing into another"

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.4/24

Non-Canonical Prex
The pronominal element imas- is a DAT form of the distal demonstrative pronoun:
Example 2 me I.NOM imas that.DAT a-v-i--eb PV-S1.SG-PRV-take-TS da and ara not amas this.DAT

I will take that [one] but not this [one]"

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.5/24

Proforms
Such constructs as gada-imas-m-i-kn-a in Example 1 act as proforms and are able to replace lexical verb forms. For instance, gada-imas-m-i-kn-a in Example 1 can replace the verb forms in Example 3 and Example 4:
Example 3 (man) (s)he.ERG Example 4 (man) (s)he.ERG (me) I.DAT (is) it.NOM gada-m-i-cer-a . PV-IO1.SG-PRV-copy-S3.SG.AOR (me) I.DAT (is) it.NOM gada-m-i-qar-a PV-IO1.SG-PRV-throw.away-S3.SG.AOR

(S)he threw it away for me"

(S)he copied it for me"

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.6/24

Prescriptivists against the Proforms


The proforms are used when one has accidentally forgotten or avoids mentioning the exact lexical verb form. There are the following concerns expressed by prescriptivists:
(i) The proforms are a sign of being less literate school children and teenagers with relatively poor performance and possibly with learning problems may turn in oral discourse to more using the proforms instead of the rich lexical resources. Thus, the proforms impoverish the language. (ii) The proforms are a sign of being rude sometimes proforms are inserted in some inappropriate expressions to avoid the use of the lexical verb form.

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.7/24

However...
However, the forms like 1 are not characteristic exclusively for the speakers of certain age, gender and/or social class. They can be used by anyone, including an educated speaker. Also, it is not necessary at all the context to be an inappropriate expression. The proforms are used when an utterer avoids mentioning a lexical verb form by some reason. In any case the proforms do reach the hearers sharing the knowledge of the context with the utterer.

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.8/24

Thematic Structure Can Vary


It is crucial that a single proform can be used as a substitute for verbs of very different thematic structure ranging from weather verbs to prototypical 3-argument verbs. For instance, Example 5 is used as a substitute for any of Example 6.

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.9/24

Thematic Structure Can Vary


Example 5 imas--kn-a imas-DO3.SG-do-S3.SG.AOR (S)he VERBed it" Example 6 a. i-cvim-a . PRV-rain-S3.SG.AOR It rained" d. a--a-g-o PV-DO3.SG-PRV-build-S3.SG.AOR (S)he build it" b. da-e-c-a PV-PRV-fall-S3.SG.AOR (S)he/it fell down" e. mi-h-qid-a PV-IO3.SG-sell-S3.SG.AOR (S)he sold it to him/her" c. i-tir-a (S)he cried"

PRV-cry-S3.SG.AOR

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.10/24

The Status of imas- in the Proforms


imas- cannot be a clitic: The pronominal element imas- in the proform imas--kn-a (cf. 5) is in DAT. The verb form -kn-a (cf. 7), on which the proform in 5 is based, does not take a DAT argument:
Example 7 (man) (s)he.ERG is / that.NOM *imas that.DAT -kn-a DO3.SG-do-S3.SG.AOR

(S)he did that"

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.11/24

The Status of imas- in the Proforms


imas- cannot be an incorporated material: In Georgian an incorporated material is put immediately before the preverb (cf. 8). However, as 1 illustrates, imasdoes not occur immediately before the preverb.
Example 8 sul-ga-qid-ul-i / soul-PV-sell-PPART-NOM *ga-sul-qid-ul-i PV-soul-sell-PPART-NOM murman-i Murman-NOM

Murman having sold his soul"

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.12/24

The Status of imas- in the Proforms


Further, incorporation occurs in Georgian only with nonnite verb forms (cf. 8), never with nite forms (cf. 9a):
Example 9 a. b. *murman-ma Murman-ERG murman-ma Murman-ERG sul-ga--qid-a soul-PV-DO3.SG-sell-S3.SG.AOR sul-i soul-NOM ga--qid-a PV-DO3.SG-sell-S3.SG.AOR

Murman sold his soul"

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.13/24

On How the Substitution Works


The proforms can substitute a lexical verb form if the grammatical features of the two match while argument structure can vary. For instance, imas--kn-a (5), based on the verb form -kn-a having a 3rd person subject marker (7), can only substitute the verb forms taking a 3rd person (6) but not the 1st person subject argument (10).

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.14/24

On How the Substitution Works


Example 10 a. da-v-e-c-i PV-S1.SG-PRV-fall-AOR I fell down" c. mo-v-kal-i . PV-S1.SG-kill-AOR I killed him/her/it" d. b. v-i-tir-e S1.SG-PRV-cry-AOR I cried" mi-v-qid-e PV-S1.SG-sell-AOR I sold it to him/her"

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.15/24

On How the Substitution Works


Similarly, the proforms with a certain preverb cannot be used as a substitute for verb forms having another preverb (cf. 11 used for replacing 12 but not 13).
Example 11 (me) I.ERG (is) it.NOM gada-imas-v-ken-i PV-imas-S1.SG-do-AOR

I VERBed it from one place/thing into another"

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.16/24

On How the Substitution Works


Example 12 (me) I.ERG Example 13 (me) I.ERG (is) it.NOM e-v-a-ket-e . PV-S1.SG-PRV-do/make-AOR (is) it.NOM gada-v-a-ket-e . PV-S1.SG-PRV-do/make-AOR

I made it into something else"

I repaired it"

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.17/24

On How the Substitution Works


Also, if a proform is in Aorist Indicative it cannot substitute a verb form in Future Indicative (cf. 5 used for any of Example 6 but for none of Example 14):
Example 14 a. i-cvim-eb-s . PV-rain-TS-S3.SG It will rain" d. a--a-g-eb-s PV-DO3.SG-PRV-build-TS-S3.SG (S)he will build it" b. da-e-c-em-a PV-PRV-fall-TS-S3.SG (S)he/it will fall" e. c. i-tir-eb-s PRV-cry-TS-S3.SG (S)he will cry"

mi-h-qid-i-s PV-IO3.SG-sell-TS-S3.SG (S)he will sell it to him/her"

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.18/24

Less Specic Less Restricted


The less grammatical information coded in the proforms the less restricted they are. The proform imas--kn-a (5) with the 3rd person subject marker -a can replace the forms with the subject marker (cf. 6b-e) but also those with an additional benefactive argument marker (cf. 15):
Example 15 a. da-m-e-c-a PV-IO1.SG-PRV-fall-S3.SG.AOR (S)he/it fall on me" c. a-m-i-g-o PV-IO1.SG-PRV-build-S3.SG.AOR (S)he build it for me" d. b. m-i-tir-a DO3.SG-PRV-cry-S3.SG.AOR (S)he mourned me" mo-m-qid-a PV-IO1.SG-sell-S3.SG.AOR (S)he sold it to me"

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.19/24

More Specic More Restricted


The more grammatical information coded in the proforms the more restricted they are. For instance, the proform imas-m-i-kn-a (16) with the agreement markers for the subject and the benefactive arguments, respectively -a and m-, can only replace the forms with both agreement markers in Example 15 but none of those lacking m- in Example 6b-e.
Example 16 imas-m-i-kn-a imas-IO1.SG-PRV-do-S3.SG.AOR (S)he VERBed it for/to me"

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.20/24

Variation in the Form of Proforms


Apart from the form gada-imas-v-ken-i in Example 11 there is another proform of a similar use (cf. 17 replacing 12):
Example 17 gada-v-a-imas-v-ken-i PV-S1.SG-PRV-imas-S1.SG-do-AOR I VERBed it from one place/thing into another"

The complex proform gada-v-a-imas-v-ken-i (Example 17) is a puzzle because it contains a combination of morphemes not found elsewhere in Georgian. The rst person subject is registered as v- twice in the same verb form once in the position before the root -ken, and again just after the preverb gada-.

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.21/24

Proforms inside Other Proforms


The sequence of morphemes -imas-v-ken-i is treated by the complex proform gada-v-a-imas-v-ken-i as a stem. However, what seems to be formally a stem can itself serve as a proform (cf. 18) and substitute any of the verb forms in 10.
Example 18 imas-v-ken-i imas-S1.SG-do-AOR I VERBed it"

Example 17 illustrates a proform imas-v-ken-i (18) within a complex proform [gada-v-a-[imas-v-ken-i]].

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.22/24

What Do the Proforms Actually Replace?


The proforms like imas--kn-a (5) or imas-v-ken-i (18) may look like a do it anaphor because imas- is a pronominal element and the verbal elements --kn-a (5), -v-ken-i (18), taken separately, are verb forms (cf. 7, 19) with the root originally meaning to do".
Example 19 (me) I.ERG I did it" (is) it.NOM v-ken-i S1.SG-do-AOR

However, the proforms do not serve as a VP test like do it" serves for English (cf. Tom threw a ball. Harry did it too.). They, in fact, replace a verb together with its argument(s).

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.23/24

What Do the Proforms Actually Replace?


Namely, the proforms replace
(i) a verb and a theme argument in unaccusatives (cf. 5 used for 6b) (ii) a verb and an agent argument in unergatives (cf. 5 used for 6c) (iii) a verb and both arguments in transitives (cf. 5 used for 6d, 11 used for 12) (iv) a verb and all the three arguments in di-transitives (cf. 5 used for 6e, 1 used for 3 and 4).

Therefore, the proforms in fact replace not just the VP but an IP and serve as an IP test.

Nino Amiridze. Verb Forms inside Verb Forms. 11th International Morphology Meeting, Vienna, February 14-17, 2004 p.24/24