Causative in your conlang(s)

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Causative in your conlang(s)

Postby Täzari » Fri 23 May 2014 2:09 pm

Unfortunately this forum seems to be poorly read, but still I hope to start a new discussion on some interesting topics!

This time I would like to know from you how does the causative structure work in your conlang(s). Here I present the structure for Lözusöteli.

Like it happens for the passive, which I have presented in one of my previous posts, the causative too depends on a verbal modifier for its formation. This modifier is -ukam- that is added between the verbal root and the personal ending.

Example:
Bikki er pëksu - "I run to the sea"

A causative counterpart of this sentence would be:

Bikkukami pai belad er pëksu - "I make my dog run to the sea"

Bikk-ukam-i pai bel-ad er pëk-su
run.pres-CAUS-1ps pers.pron.1ps.GEN dog-ACCs prep. sea-PRE2s

The caused argument's case changes according to the valency of the verb. As you probably already know, the causative construction is a strategy to increase the valency of the verb.
So an intransitive verb (like bikkaka "to run") becomes a transitive when -ukam- is used and in this case the caused argument is expressed in the accusative (belad ACCs of bel "dog").
A transitive verb becomes a ditransitive verb whose caused argument is expressed in the dative:

Mazukami ebkäd pai belki - "I make my dog drink water"

Maz-ukam-i ebku-ad pai bel-ki (u+a -> ä)
drink.pres-CAUS-1ps water-ACCs pers.pron.1ps.GEN dog-DATs

Finally, ditransitive verbs become four places verbs, in this case too the caused argument is expressed in the dative case:

Ræbukami pai epæbo kætsiþenden pöþko - "I make my friend say the answer to the teacher"

Ræb-ukam-i pai epæb-o kætsiþ-en-den pöþk-o
say.pres-CAUS-1ps pers.pron.1ps.GEN friend-DATs answer-ACCs-art.ACCs teacher-DATs

In this case two nouns are expressed in the DAT but this is due merely to the basic argument structure of the verb ræka "to say". When this happens, which one of the two nouns is the caused argument is understandable from the context and from its being the closer one to the verb.

-ukam- is considered as a modifier expressing a coercitive meaning. When we want to express a causative that means we let someone do something we use the modifier -let- (called "permissive"). Its construction follows the aforementioned rules.

Utzækletisa tad pelgakaladit - "I'll let you go out if you finish to eat"

Utzæk-let-i-sa tad pelgak-alad-it
go.out.fut-PER-1ps-pers.pron.2ps.ACC conj. eat.fut-TERM-2ps
Ræhaktæśede enśké är hvå debbéś lit kæbbtera.

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Täzari
 
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