Difference between revisions of "Tibetan Grammar - verbs - notes"

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=Verbs—Notes=
 
=Verbs—Notes=
==Patient, subject-object, valency: advantages and problems==
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==How the categories of 'transitive' and 'intransitive' are used here==
  
"Patient" here is used as a convenient term for subject (intransitive verb) and object (transitive verb) (mostly in the ''ming tsam'' case&mdash;marked by no particle&mdash;''<nowiki>'</nowiki>just the word<nowiki>'</nowiki>'')<ref>'''S. V. Beyer:''' ''The Classical Tibetan Language'', p.259-260: "Intransitive verbs occur with a patient; transitive verbs occur with both a patient and an agency. [...] Tibetan&mdash;syntactically identify the intransitive and transitive patients. In Tibetan they are both given the ''patient role particle''</ref> and is stretched beyonds its definition from thematic relations; (e.g. it will also include ''theme''&mdash;undergoes the action but does not change its state, and experiencer&mdash;the entity that receives sensory or emotional input)&mdash;it is used with static verbs as well.  
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In order to categorize Tibetan verbs according to their grammar the categories of ''<nowiki>'</nowiki>transitive<nowiki>'</nowiki>'' and ''<nowiki>'</nowiki>intransitive<nowiki>'</nowiki>'' will be used. The way it will be determined if a verb should be labeled 'transitive' or 'intransitive' will not entirely match the general rule for these  categories.
{{Tibetan}}
 
  
In general the patient is that which experiences the action. In  many cases<ref>For instance in English it is not the case passive constructions. For example, in the phrase "The snow leopard  bites the dog", ''the dog'' is both the patient and the direct object. By contrast, in the phrase "The dog is bitten by the snow leopard", ''the dog'' is still the patient, but now stands as the phrase's subject; while the snow leopard is only the agent.</ref> it is equal to the object of a transitive verb. The difference is that 'patient' is based explicitly on its relationship to the verb, whereas object is based primarily on its relationship to the subject.
+
Generally:
 +
* '''Intransitive:''' Not passing over to an object; expressing an action or state that is limited to the agent or subject.
 +
* '''Transitive:''' Passing over to an object; expressing an action which is not limited to the agent or subject.
  
In Tibetan where the type of verb governs the usage of the respective particles for their agent, patient and particular qualifiers it can be seen as fitting to use these verb dependent categories (of patient and agent).<ref>This is much less useful, if at all, for spoken Tibetan where the subject is the ruling factor for the auxiliary verbs and with the occurrence of a ''fluid-S Split ergative'' in regard to the degree of volition.</ref> Moreover it is much easier to explain Tibetan when having a single term that covers the subject of an intransitive verb and the object a transitive verb.
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The categorization will be in regard to the presence of an agent in the agentive case. In a number of cases this will lead to differences in regard to their English counterparts.
  
In Tibetan the patient is in roughly 90% of all cases in the ''ming tsam'', which makes at an advantage for beginners to use "patient". It is easy for them to understand that they need to look for 'something' in ''ming tsam'' in order to find the patient of the clause / sentence, particularly given the fact that the agent of a transitive verb is often omitted.
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{| class="wikitable" style="color:black;background-color:#ffffff; padding: 0px; border: 1px solid #fff;" cellspacing="10" border="0px"
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|+
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|-
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|&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
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|For instance the English word "love" is ''transitive''. There is 'somebody / thing' that is loved. In Tibetan "love" is an unintentional verb and has no agent marked with the ''agentive case'' (it is classified in as  {{gtib|ཐ་མི་དད་པ་}}).  Having these characteristics it will be categorized as an ''intransitive verb'', in the category [["verbs of emotion / attitude verbs"]] and its grammar described as:
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|-
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|&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
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|{{grule|'''Patient''' (subject): ''ming tsam'', and '''qualifier'''&mdash;that which the attitude is towards: ''la don''.}}<br>
 +
|-
 +
|&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
 +
|{{gsample|ལུག་རྫི་ལུག་ལ་བྱམས།|shepherd sheep&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;kind, loving|The shepherd is loving to the sheep.}}<br>
 +
|}
  
It is also quite straight forward to classify the grammar of (almost all) verbs using the cases in which their patient and qualifier are in. Later again it is easy to describe verb-verb relations in terms of a verb coming together with either a patient or a qualifier.
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In most cases this way of dealing with Tibetan verbs leads to a straight forward way of categorizing them. Yet it does lead to problems with some 'transitive verbs with ''la don''<nowiki>'</nowiki> (see below) and can obscure the fact that divalent intransitive verbs are simply the unintentional counterpart of intentional transitive (divalent) 'verbs with ''la don''<nowiki>'</nowiki> (see below).
  
However this also comes with problems. These come as a side effect of the strong distinction Tibetan makes between voluntary and involuntary verbs. For instance the voluntary "verbs of perception" and "verbs of benefit and harm" have their agent (subject) in the agentive case and their patient (object) marked with the la don. It might  not be that 'nice' to have some patients with the ''la don'', but nevertheless, with for instance "to look" "that what is looked at" can still easily be processed as the patient.
 
  
Yet ''la don'' are generally used for marking qualifier and reference. So these verbs look somewhat more like verbs that have their subject marked with the ''agentive case''&mdash;because the action is voluntary with a clearly defined ''agent''&mdash;and the patient is more a 'direction' that the action is directed towards.
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==Classification as Patient, subject-object, and valency: advantages and problems==
 +
===Patient===
 +
* '''Patient''' here is used as a convenient term for the
 +
# subject of an intransitive verb and the
 +
# object of a transitive verb.  
 +
These two are mostly in the ''ming tsam'' case&mdash;marked by no particle&mdash;'just the word'.<ref>'''S. V. Beyer:''' ''The Classical Tibetan Language'', p.259-260: "Intransitive verbs occur with a patient; transitive verbs occur with both a patient and an agency. [...] Tibetan&mdash;syntactically identify the intransitive and transitive patients. In Tibetan they both given the ''patient role particle''.</ref> The term ''Patient'' is stretched beyonds its definition from thematic relations; e.g. it will also include theme&mdash;undergoes the action but does not change its state, and experiencer&mdash;the entity that receives sensory or emotional input. ''Patient'' is also used with static verbs.<ref>In '''S. V. Beyer's''' approach, ibid., p.263: "The ''patient'' of an event is the participant that suffers, endures, or undergoes the particular state, process, or action; the patient is the one the event ''happens to''"</ref>
  
Now, from this group of verbs that have the subject marked with the ''agentive case'' and the "direction"s of their action marked with the ''la don'' comes one type of verb where "patient" just does not work anymore&mdash;the Verbs expressing "to make effort, to engage" [[(3.1.3.3)]].
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In general the patient is that which experiences the action. In  many cases<ref>It is for instance not the case in English passive constructions. For example, in the active voice phrase  "The snow leopard  bites the dog", ''the dog'' is both the patient and the direct object. By contrast, in the passive voice phrase "The dog is bitten by the snow leopard", ''the dog'' is still the patient, but now stands as the phrase's subject; while ''the snow leopard'' is only the agent.</ref> it is equal to the object of a transitive verb. The difference between it and an object is that patient is based explicitly on its relationship to the verb, whereas the object is defined primarily through its relationship to the subject.
  
These verbs, like "to strive", are intransitive in English but in Tibetan their categorization is {{gtib|ཐ་དད་པ་}} (there is an example given a verb lexicon with the subject marked with the agentive case<ref>see above.</ref>) and their is no great reason to believe that this should not be the norm for these verbs. They are intentionally, have a clear ''agent'' and are not quite "verbs of motion or living". The trouble is that they do not have an object but only a direction which the effort etc. is towards. The only one experiencing or undergoing the action is the subject, as in the case of an intransitive verb. So what we are left with is an intransitive verb that has the grammar of a transitive verb but without an object. The agent substitutes the patient in this case.
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In Tibetan where the type of verb governs the usage of the respective particles for their agent, patient and particular qualifiers it can be fitting to use these verb dependent  categories (of patient and agent) in order to describe the grammar of verbs.<ref>This is far less useful, if at all, for spoken Tibetan where the subject is the ruling factor for the auxiliary verbs and with the occurrence of a ''fluid-S Split ergative'' in regard to the degree of volition.</ref>
  
Why that long explanation? Firstly, it is a further explanation for the Verbs expressing "to make effort, to engage" and secondly to show that in the case of these verbs an explanation with subject and qualifier would have been far easier. Yet it is the belief of the compiler and writer that the (agent)-patient-qualifier approach has the greater overall advantages.
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Moreover it is much easier to explain Tibetan using a single term that covers the subject of an intransitive verb and the object a transitive verb. In Tibetan the patient is in 90+% of all cases  in ming tsam, which makes the use of "patient" an advantage for beginners. It is easy to keep in mind that one needs to look for 'something' in ming tsam in order to find the patient of the clause / sentence. (Whereas looking for the subject of a transitive verb could be quite disheartening, given that it is so often omitted.)
 +
 
 +
In the most part it is straight forward to classify the grammar of verbs using the cases in which their patient, qualifier and agent, if present, are in. It is also easy to describe verb-verb relations in terms of a verb with either a patient (complement) or a qualifier.
 +
 
 +
However some verbs are problematic when using 'patient'. In order to see where these problems come from there will be an overview of Tibetan verbs with an attempt to use valency as a way of ordering them.
 +
<!--
 +
1.2.2 Tibetan verbs in a valency matrix
 +
 
 +
1.2.2.1 valency
 +
 
 +
The term valency or valence5 refers to the property of a word 'to bind' other words to it, 'to demand' complements.
 +
The study of valency structures can be quite detailed.6
 +
The concern here is the obligatory complements. Obligatory complements are complements which have to be expressed in a grammatical sentence to enable the use of the predicator (verb), the verb requires all of the arguments (complements) in a well-formed sentence. However verbs sometimes undergo valency reduction or expansion.7
 +
 
 +
1.2.2.2 types of valency
 +
 
 +
1. a monovalent verb takes one argument, e.g. "He sleeps."
 +
2. a divalent verb takes two, e.g. "He hit the king."
 +
3. a trivalent verb takes three, e.g. "He gave her a ring."
 +
8
 +
1.2.2.3 valency and Tibetan
 +
 
 +
Valency comes from the study of languages that generaly don't have the ability to omit the same amount of components of a sentence as Tibetan does. In Tibetan a sentence does not become ungrammatical or poorly formed by omitting parts that are to be understood from context, even if it is the subject or object of the sentence. It could even be bad style to state them.
 +
For that reason the way valency will be used here is to look at the number of obligatory complements of a sentence without omissions. When counting obligatory complements there might be some debate with questions like "What can't be left out?" and "What needs to be always assumed?". For instance with the verb "to look" is it assumed that there is always something which is looked at? If it is, with verbs of living is it assumed that there is always a place where one stays?
 +
The valency model is used here as merely an aid to illustrate the main differences between Tibetan verbs, with the 'divalent verbs with la don' as the main topic. In this context the verbs of perception are treated as divalent whereas verbs of living and motion as monovalent.
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 +
Note: The category of Zero Valency (see above) which is used in the great work "Lhasa Verbs"9will not be used. Compound verbs like ཆར་པ་འབབ་ "to rain" will be treated as the monovalent verb འབབ་ "to fall" with the noun ཆར་པ་ "rain".
 +
 
 +
1.2.2.4 Tibetan verb valency-particle-volition matrix
 +
 
 +
This section is in particular about transitive verbs with their patient / object marked by la don. For that reason other divalent verbs like verbs of separation that have a qualifier-what one is separated from-are excluded.
 +
 
 +
The examples:
 +
 
 +
ཉི་མ་ཤར།
 +
ཁོ་ཚོ་སོང་།
 +
ལུག་རྫི་ལུག་ལ་བྱམས།
 +
བདུད་རྩི་ལྟ་བུའི་ཆོས་ཤིག་བདག་གིས་རྙེད།
 +
sun    arose
 +
they went
 +
shepherd sheep  kind, loving
 +
nectar  like Dharma a/one  I    found
 +
The sun arose.
 +
They went.
 +
The shepherd is loving to the sheep.
 +
I have found this nectar like Dharma.
 +
 
 +
སངས་རྒྱས་ཀྱིས་ཆོས་བསྟན།
 +
ཁོས་དཔེ་དེབ་ལ་བལྟས།
 +
བདག་གིས་གཞན་ལ་ཕན་པར་བྱ།
 +
སྨན་པས་ནད་པ་ལ་སྨན་སྟེར།
 +
Buddha      Dharma taught
 +
he      book(s)  looked
 +
I              other  benefit  will (auxiliary verb)
 +
doctor  the ill  medicine give
 +
The Buddha taught the Dharma.
 +
He looked at books.
 +
I will benefit others.
 +
The doctor gives medicine to the ill.
 +
 
 +
སྙིང་ནས་གྲོལ་བ་དོན་དུ་གཉེར་བའི་གང་ཟག་གིས། བདག་མེད་པའི་ལྟ་བ་རྣམ་པར་དག་པ་ཁོང་དུ་ཆུད་པའི་ཐབས་ལ་འབད་དགོས།
 +
heart  liberation    seek            persons              selflessness  view completely pure  understand  means  effort  need
 +
Persons who from the depths of their hearts seek liberation must work at the means of understanding the correct view of selflessness.
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 +
 
 +
 
 +
 
 +
 
 +
 
 +
 
 +
valency
 +
type of verb
 +
agentive case
 +
ming tsam
 +
lad don
 +
verb example
 +
monovalent
 +
unintentional,
 +
intransitive
 +
 
 +
patient / subject
 +
ཉི་མ་
 +
 
 +
intransitive verbs
 +
ཤར་ ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
 +
 
 +
intentional,
 +
intransitive
 +
 
 +
patient / subject
 +
ཁོ་ཚོ་
 +
 
 +
verbs of motion
 +
སོང་ ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
 +
divalent
 +
unintentional,
 +
intransitive
 +
 
 +
patient / subject
 +
ལུག་རྫི་
 +
qualifier
 +
ལུག་ལ་
 +
attitude verbs
 +
བྱམས་ ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
 +
 
 +
unintentional,
 +
transitive
 +
agent / subject
 +
བདག་གིས་
 +
patient / object
 +
ཆོས་
 +
 
 +
"fruitional" verbs
 +
རྙེད་ ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
 +
 
 +
intentional,
 +
transitive
 +
agent / subject
 +
སངས་རྒྱས་ཀྱིས་
 +
patient / object
 +
ཆོས་
 +
 
 +
transitive verbs
 +
བསྟན་ ཐ་དད་པ་
 +
 
 +
intentional,
 +
transitive
 +
agent / subject
 +
ཁོས་
 +
agent / subject
 +
བདག་གིས་
 +
 
 +
patient / object
 +
དཔེ་དེབ་ལ་
 +
patient / object
 +
གཞན་ལ་
 +
transitive verbs
 +
བལྟས་ ཐ་དད་པ་
 +
verbs of benefit
 +
ཕན་ ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
 +
 
 +
 
 +
intentional,
 +
"?"
 +
 
 +
agent / subject
 +
གང་ཟག་གིས་
 +
 
 +
 
 +
qualifier
 +
ཐབས་ལ་
 +
verbs expressing "to make effort"
 +
འབད་ ཐ་དད་པ་
 +
trivalent
 +
intentional,
 +
transitive
 +
agent / subject
 +
སྨན་པས་
 +
patient / object
 +
སྨན་
 +
recipient / indirect object
 +
ནད་པ་ལ་
 +
ditransitive verbs
 +
སྟེར་ ཐ་དད་པ་
 +
 
 +
When looking at which particle marks what, the agentive case always marks an agent, and ming tsam always a patient, so why do the la don seem to be 'multitasking', marking qualifier for unintentional and patient for intentional verbs? Or, is there even a real difference between what they are marking for unintentional and intentional divalent verbs?
 +
 
 +
 
 +
1.2.2.5 divalent verbs with la don
 +
 
 +
La don do have a wide range of functions, but they all fall into the category of marking some kind of qualifier. This comes from their origin of being words of location and direction.10 Which would make the complement of the transitve divalent verbs the 'direction' the action is directed towards and not the patient.
 +
For example, Peter Schwieger treats these verbs as intransitive, pointing out that even though they are ཐ་དད་པ་ classified they have their object marked with the la don and are not transitive.11 The examples are འཛེག་"to climb", བརྩོན་"to stirve" and གནོད་"to harm". The ཐ་དད་པ་ verbs  ལྟ་བ་"to look" གནོད་པ་"to harm" which both use la don are placed with 'intentional (controllable) intransitive verbs'.12 The examples:
 +
 
 +
དེ་ནས་ཀུན་དགའ་བོས་ཕྱོགས་བཞིར་བལྟས་ཏེ།
 +
དེ་ལ་སུས་གནོད་སུ་ལ་གནོད།།
 +
then      Ānanda      direction    four  looked
 +
that  who harm  who  harm
 +
Then Ānanda looked into the four directions.   
 +
Who harms that [one]?  Who is harmed?
 +
 
 +
When looking at those unintentional and intentional divalent verbs one can say that they are the unintentional and intentional counterpart of each other. With that view it follows logically that the agent of the intentional verbs would be the one doing and experiencing the action just as the patient of the unintentional verbs does. The agent would substitute the patient, or be the patient.
 +
Being the patient or agent should be mutially exclusive and is only possible here due to the way these terms are used as terms of convenience. The patient being the one undergoing the action, and the agent the one marked with the agentive case.
 +
When following the rule that the patient is in ming tsam one option is to take the agent as the substitute for the patient. That is done in the case of "verbs expressing 'to make effort, to engage'". It is not used with any of the other intentional divalent verbs. The next sections explains why.
 +
 
 +
1.2.2.6 intentional divalent verbs with la don and the 'labeled' patient
 +
 
 +
Keeping with the way of labeling verbs described above, all verbs that have an agent marked with the agentive case are categorized as transitive. As a result the intentional divalent verb are labeled as transitive too.
 +
In most cases this label is appropriate because the majority of these verbs have a complement that one would usually consider to be an object rather than a qualifier. E.g.(generic)
 +
 
 +
ཁོང་གིས་ཁྱི་མཐོང་།
 +
ཁོང་གིས་ཁྱི་ལ་ལྟ།
 +
he          dog  see
 +
he          dog  look
 +
He sees the dog.
 +
He looks at the dog.
 +
divalent, unintentional, ཐ་མི་དད་པ་ classified
 +
divalent, intentional, ཐ་དད་པ་ classified
 +
 
 +
It takes some explaining in order to show how the dog that is seen is more involved in the action than the dog that is looked at.13 Yes the 'looked at dog' is not in ming tsam and there is a quite a grammatical difference when looked a bit closer (as above), yet while the complement is that what action is directed towards, it becomes quite apperend with "verbs of harm" like གནོད་པ་ "to harm" that the complement 'that what is harmed' can also be directly involved in the subject's "performance" of the verb.
 +
Intentional divalent verbs with la don are in themselves not one type of verb. They range from "verbs of benefit and harm" with their complement having all the characteristics of a patient, "intentional verbs of perception" and "verbs expressing mental activity" with an adverbial complement that could be viewed as an object or patient, to the other side of "verbs expressing 'to make effort, to engage'" which come with an adverbial complement that shows the direction of the action of the verb without any involvement in it.
 +
This range is also illustrated by their English counterparts. The "verbs of benefit and harm"are transitive14, e.g.,"She benefits the school.". The "intentional verbs of perception" and "verbs expressing mental activity" are not as clearly cut, they can be either transitve or intrasitve or be used in both ways, e.g., v.t."She thinks virtuous thoughts", v.i."He thinks about leaving." and the "verbs expressing 'to make effort, to engage'" are intransitve, e.g.,"She strives for success.".  
 +
 
 +
Here, when the complement marked by la don has qualties of an object it will labeled as 'patient' (which is marked by la don). In the example with "look" that what is looked at "dog" will be labeled as the patient.
 +
This does not work for "verbs expressing 'to make effort, to engage'". There simply comes a point when even the very enduring 'patient' can not be stretch any further. That 'what the effort is towards', the adverbial complement that shows the direction of the action, is a qualifier marked by a la don and not a patient. In order to keep with the way of categorizing - that the agents with the agentive case is the sign of a transitive verb - the "verbs expressing 'to make effort, to engage'" are labeled "intransitive verbs with transitive grammar".
 +
 
 +
1.2.3 conclusion: advantages vs. problems
 +
 
 +
This simpliefied transitive - intransitive categorisation by way of the agent is for the classroom. It leads to having all agents  (obviously) in the agentive case and 90+% of all patients in ming tsam, and for some transitive verbs the patient marked by la don. It has proven to be a very comprehensive approach for students encountering classical Tibetan. (See also: Introduction, origin and aims of this 'collection of different points on Tibetan grammar').
 +
It does lead to the above explained inconsistencies of some patients being marked by the la don and the "verbs expressing 'to make effort, to engage'" needing an extra category.
 +
Another reason to label intentional divalent verbs with la don as transitive due to the occurrence of an agent is because the effectiveness of using the agent basis for the categorisation, while at the same time other ways to categorize transitive and intransitive verbs come with their own problems.E.g.:
 +
Takeing the Tibetan categorization of ཐ་དད་པ་ and ཐ་མི་དད་པ་ as a bases leads to trouble with ཐ་མི་དད་པ་ classified verbs with transitive grammar such as unintentional verbs of perception (intentional divalent verbs would still be transitive because they are ཐ་དད་པ་ verbs).
 +
Looking at the presence or absence of an object leads to the question why with "to love" བྱམས་པ་ "that what is loved" is not the object but a qualifier and with "to harm" གནོད་པ་ "that what is harmed" is not the object (it corresponds very well to the definition of patient-the participant that suffers, endures the action).
 +
Using the occurrence of a patient in ming tsam allows for clear categorization but it leads to the fact that verbs like "to harm" གནོད་པ་ would be intransitive verbs with an agent in the agentive case and a qualifier that looks like a patient /object.
 +
 
 +
Because of verbs like "to harm" གནོད་པ་ where it looks very appropriate to treat them as having a patient marked by a la don, the reason that this way of explaining verbs is very comprehensible for students and the fact that intentional divalent verbs are  ཐ་དད་པ་ verbs in Tibetan this way of categorizing of verbs is chosen - placing 'intentional divalent verbs with la don' with transitive verbs. Provided that it is clear what this classification is based on, why there are occurrences like "verbs expressing 'to make effort, to engage'" that need their own category, it will hopefully be considered reasonable.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
1.3 volition - transitive - intransitive
 +
 
 +
Volition in general refers to a distinction that is made in a verb's conjugations15 or case assignment16 to express whether the subject intended the action or not,whether it was done voluntarily or accidentally (involuntarily).
 +
 
 +
In Tibetan volition does neither entirely rule the usage of the agentive case nor he distinction between ཐ་མི་དད་པ་ and ཐ་དད་པ་.
 +
Unintentional intransitive verbs are ཐ་མི་དད་པ་ and have no agent in the agentive case.
 +
Intentional intransitive verbs are ཐ་མི་དད་པ་ and have no agent in the agentive case, i.e., verbs of motion and living.
 +
Unintentional transitive verbs are ཐ་མི་དད་པ་ and have an agent in the agentive case, e.g., unintentional verbs of perception.
 +
Intentional transitive verbs are ཐ་དད་པ་ and have an agent in the agentive case.
 +
 
 +
volition
 +
intransitive
 +
transitive
 +
unintentional
 +
E.g., unintentional intransitive verbs, e.g., འཆར་བ་ to appear unintentional verbs of feeling, e.g., བཀྲེས་པ་to be hungry
 +
E.g., unintentional verbs of perception, e.g., མཐོང་བ་to see
 +
verbs of "understanding", e.g., ཧ་གོ་བ་ to understand
 +
"passive / fruitional" verbs, e.g., འཐོབ་པ་ to attain, to obtain
 +
 
 +
ming tsam
 +
ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
 +
patient / subject
 +
མེ་ཏོག་
 +
intransitive verb
 +
འཆར་
 +
The flower blossoms.
 +
agentive case
 +
ming tsam
 +
ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
 +
agent / subject
 +
ཀུན་དགའ་བོས་
 +
patient / object
 +
དགྲ་བཅོམ་པ་ཉིད་
 +
"fruitional" verb
 +
ཐོབ་བོ།།
 +
Ananda attained [the state of an] arhat.
 +
intentional
 +
E.g., verbs of motion, e.g.,འགྲོ་བ་ to go
 +
verbs of living, e.g., སྡོད་པ་ to stay
 +
E.g., intentional transitive verbs, e.g.,  སྟོན་པ་ to teach, 
འཐུང་བ་ to drink, བཟོ་བ་ to make, do, produce, manufacture
 +
 
 +
ming tsam
 +
lad don
 +
ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
 +
patient / subject
 +
ཁོ་
 +
qualifier
 +
ལྷ་སར་
 +
verb of motion
 +
འགྲོ་
 +
He goes to Lhasa.
 +
agentive case
 +
ming tsam
 +
ཐ་དད་པ་
 +
agent / subject
 +
ཁོས་
 +
patient / object
 +
ཇ་
 +
transitive verb
 +
འཐུང་
 +
He drinks tea.
 +
 
 +
Note: not finished, leave out for now!
 +
Intentional intransitive verbs: In linguistic context the intentional intransitive verbs of motion and living are also called unergative verbs-verbs that have a volitional subject that is not marked by the agentiv (ergative).17
 +
In spoken tibetan there is a distinct (morphosyntactical18) difference between unintentional and intentional intransitive verbs, they take unintentional and intentional auxiliary verbs respectively.19
 +
 
 +
Unintentional transitive verbs: object to involved be la don, to find still agent in kham, Lhasa involuntary auxiliary verbs, agent considered to be involved in the action, directly action upon an object, attitude verbs ming tsam la don, with perception mental activity la don active direction
 +
 
 +
 
 +
 
 +
1.4. this presentation in relation to other systems
 +
 
 +
 
 +
(1.5  extended verb valency-particle matrix - needs discussion of its merits)
 +
 
 +
 
 +
 
 +
la don
 +
the question is very ti came form in the beginning, it like was a qualifier in hte beginnig, as ladon mark qyulifier, usage of a structure for with verbs that take qulifier to intransitve verbs directly? - come to do - difficu.t to come
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-->
  
 
=Endnotes=
 
=Endnotes=

Revision as of 09:09, 10 March 2011

WORK IN PROGRESS: the grammar articles are being edited for wiki publication. During editing, the content might be incomplete, out of sequence or even misleading.

Articles on Tibetan Grammar
1. Introduction
2. Formation of the Tibetan Syllable
3. Formation of the Tibetan Word
4. First case: ming tsam
5. agentive particle
6. Connective Particle
7. La don particles
8. La don particles—Notes
9. Originative case
10. Verbs
11. Verbs—Notes
12. Syntactic particles

by Stefan J. E.

Verbs—Notes

How the categories of 'transitive' and 'intransitive' are used here

In order to categorize Tibetan verbs according to their grammar the categories of 'transitive' and 'intransitive' will be used. The way it will be determined if a verb should be labeled 'transitive' or 'intransitive' will not entirely match the general rule for these categories.

Generally:

  • Intransitive: Not passing over to an object; expressing an action or state that is limited to the agent or subject.
  • Transitive: Passing over to an object; expressing an action which is not limited to the agent or subject.

The categorization will be in regard to the presence of an agent in the agentive case. In a number of cases this will lead to differences in regard to their English counterparts.

       For instance the English word "love" is transitive. There is 'somebody / thing' that is loved. In Tibetan "love" is an unintentional verb and has no agent marked with the agentive case (it is classified in as ཐ་མི་དད་པ་). Having these characteristics it will be categorized as an intransitive verb, in the category "verbs of emotion / attitude verbs" and its grammar described as:
      
Patient (subject): ming tsam, and qualifier—that which the attitude is towards: la don.

      
ལུག་རྫི་ལུག་ལ་བྱམས།
shepherd sheep   kind, loving
The shepherd is loving to the sheep.

In most cases this way of dealing with Tibetan verbs leads to a straight forward way of categorizing them. Yet it does lead to problems with some 'transitive verbs with la don' (see below) and can obscure the fact that divalent intransitive verbs are simply the unintentional counterpart of intentional transitive (divalent) 'verbs with la don' (see below).


Classification as Patient, subject-object, and valency: advantages and problems

Patient

  • Patient here is used as a convenient term for the
  1. subject of an intransitive verb and the
  2. object of a transitive verb.

These two are mostly in the ming tsam case—marked by no particle—'just the word'.[1] The term Patient is stretched beyonds its definition from thematic relations; e.g. it will also include theme—undergoes the action but does not change its state, and experiencer—the entity that receives sensory or emotional input. Patient is also used with static verbs.[2]

In general the patient is that which experiences the action. In many cases[3] it is equal to the object of a transitive verb. The difference between it and an object is that patient is based explicitly on its relationship to the verb, whereas the object is defined primarily through its relationship to the subject.

In Tibetan where the type of verb governs the usage of the respective particles for their agent, patient and particular qualifiers it can be fitting to use these verb dependent categories (of patient and agent) in order to describe the grammar of verbs.[4]

Moreover it is much easier to explain Tibetan using a single term that covers the subject of an intransitive verb and the object a transitive verb. In Tibetan the patient is in 90+% of all cases in ming tsam, which makes the use of "patient" an advantage for beginners. It is easy to keep in mind that one needs to look for 'something' in ming tsam in order to find the patient of the clause / sentence. (Whereas looking for the subject of a transitive verb could be quite disheartening, given that it is so often omitted.)

In the most part it is straight forward to classify the grammar of verbs using the cases in which their patient, qualifier and agent, if present, are in. It is also easy to describe verb-verb relations in terms of a verb with either a patient (complement) or a qualifier.

However some verbs are problematic when using 'patient'. In order to see where these problems come from there will be an overview of Tibetan verbs with an attempt to use valency as a way of ordering them.

Endnotes

  1. S. V. Beyer: The Classical Tibetan Language, p.259-260: "Intransitive verbs occur with a patient; transitive verbs occur with both a patient and an agency. [...] Tibetan—syntactically identify the intransitive and transitive patients. In Tibetan they both given the patient role particle.
  2. In S. V. Beyer's approach, ibid., p.263: "The patient of an event is the participant that suffers, endures, or undergoes the particular state, process, or action; the patient is the one the event happens to"
  3. It is for instance not the case in English passive constructions. For example, in the active voice phrase "The snow leopard bites the dog", the dog is both the patient and the direct object. By contrast, in the passive voice phrase "The dog is bitten by the snow leopard", the dog is still the patient, but now stands as the phrase's subject; while the snow leopard is only the agent.
  4. This is far less useful, if at all, for spoken Tibetan where the subject is the ruling factor for the auxiliary verbs and with the occurrence of a fluid-S Split ergative in regard to the degree of volition.