Article on Latin Deponency

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Stephen Carlson
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Article on Latin Deponency

Post by Stephen Carlson » June 24th, 2016, 4:03 am

I came across an article on Latin deponency here: https://linguistics.stonybrook.edu/site ... Anshen.pdf

They make the claim that the meaning of the -r system is not "passive" but "non-canonical transitive." Students of the Greek middle may see some analogies.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

MAubrey
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Re: Article on Latin Deponency

Post by MAubrey » August 13th, 2016, 8:03 pm

Excellent!

One of the interesting things about Baerman et al's Deponency and Morphological Mismatches was that while Baerman's chapter on establishing the criteria for deponency heavily relies on an analysis of the Latin verb, the final paper, intended to be a response to all the rest, written by P. H. Matthews, challenges many of the idea put forward in the book entirely, going as far as to provide his own analysis of the Latin verb that suggests this verb thing. It's rather striking that Matthews chose to title his response paper, "How Safe are Our Analyses?"
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Article on Latin Deponency

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 7th, 2017, 8:00 pm

There's a new article on Latin deponency in the Journal of Latin Linguistics by Francesco Pinzin, Deposing deponency: Latin non-denominal deponents are not grammatical idiosyncratic verbs.

I don't have access to the full article (yet), but here is the abstract:
Latin deponents are usually treated as morphological idiosyncrasies in which the Middle morphology is not related to an anticausative (change of state), reflexive or passive syntactic structure, in which it would be expected and grammatically justified (Embick, David. 2000. Features syntax and categories in the Latin perfect. Linguistic Inquiry 31(2). 185–230; Xu, Zheng, Mark Aronoff and Frank Anshen. 2007. Deponency in Latin. In Matthew Baerman et al. (eds.), Deponency and morphological mismatches, 127–144. Oxford: Oxford University Press). Focusing on the non-denominal deponents, I show that these verbs are always reflexives or anticausatives. In the reflexive and anticausative structures a single argument gains two thematic ROLES, the most external one, DOER for the reflexives, UNDERGOER for the anticausatives, and a lower one (HOLDER of a state, BENEFACTIVE, etc.). The Latin Middle morphology marks the external ROLE as syntactically deactivated but semantically existential and allows for the assignment of the external ROLE to a lower argument. The peculiarity of deponents is not the presence of the Middle, but the fact that, because of specific lexical constraints, these verbs cannot be present in an Active derivation. Similar lexically constrained verbs which can only appear in anticausative or reflexive structures are crosslinguistically attested: deponents are not Latin idiosyncrasies.
The language of "thematic roles" and "derivation" suggests a generative, government-and-binding style of syntactic analysis, perhaps Distributed Morphology, which is not for everyone.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Article on Latin Deponency

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 8th, 2017, 6:45 am

I was hoping I could get this through JSTOR, no such luck. Nice to see it being tackled. My take away would be "What difference might this make to teaching and learning the language at the functional level? and from the abstract alone, hard to see how it would make a difference.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Article on Latin Deponency

Post by Stephen Carlson » July 8th, 2017, 8:50 am

The article is very recent, too fresh for JSTOR. The upshot is that even in Latin teaching deponency can be probably dispensed with.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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