Actas del II Congreso de la Región Noroeste de Europa de la Asociación de Lingüística y Filología de América Latina (ALFAL)

5.4.2 Combination

A fundamental integrative mechanism is combinatorial. It is widely assumed in the linguistic literature that Predicates (P) are correlated with the function of relating and selecting Arguments (A) and that there are a few types of Predication.1

(16) Combinatory mechanism
Monovalent P(A) [John dies] [John's death] P=Dying A=John
Bivalent P(A,A) [John and Mary] P=and A={John, Mary}

In (16), the phonology of a mortality event associates with P(A) and that of an entity with A. The phonology of addition associates with P(A,A).

In principle one element X can function as either a relator (Predicate) or not (Non-Predicate).

For instance, in Spanish the compound element Voiced-Palatality can function as either a Predicate or as a Non-Predicate (García-Bellido 2000,2003). As a Vocoid Predicate, V, it can combine expressed in two different categories: Glide (7v) or svarabhakti (7ii). As a Glide it combines monovalently with an adjacent V: G(V): [p'je] "foot", ['aj] "there is". As a svarabhakti (7i,ii,iii) it may combine bivalently with two Consonants v(C,C): a[biRj]endo "open+gerund", i[Rit]e "go yourself" or monovalently V(C) ['iRi] "go". As a Consonantoid Predicate,C, it combines with a V: C(V): [i]p "Jip", tu [ i]r "to cripple", or with two Vs: C(V,V): in t[u o] " have intuition+1sg".

As a non-Predicate Vocoid,V, it is a syntactic unit expressed as a Vowel, a potential Argument of Predication.2

1 An Argument A in P(A) can be itself a Predicate P(P). We will see below that P3 can be the Argument of a Predicate P2: P2(P3) and be at the same time a Predicate of the Argument P2: P3(P2). This is called here reciprocal predication.

2 A V by itself in an utterance co-occurs simultaneously with an intonational non-simultaneous sequence: [¿Y?] "and?".

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Volumen 22 (2005)
ISSN: 1139-8736