- Negation in Saisiyat:Another Perspective
In a recent paper, Mei-li Yeh compares the distribution and function of eight Saisiyat negators and attempts to resolve the following questions: (1) What is the morphosyntactic relationship that 'oka', 'okay, 'okik, 'amkay, and 'amkik bear to one another? (2) Why are certain negators followed by a "ligature" (either 'i or 'ik) and others not? (3) Is it the negator or the ligature that determines the marking of the negated verb as dependent or independent? While the first of these questions is well handled, Yeh is unable to answer the last two questions. Based on my own fieldnotes, I suggest answers, showing that together with 'oka', 'izi', and 'i'ini', both dynamic and stative verbs occur in their [+dependent] form, and demonstrating that while 'i is a ligature, 'ik is not. I also account for the distributional differences between 'oka', 'Ɔizi', and 'i'ini', on the one hand, and kayni' on the other.
In a recent paper, Yeh (2000b)1 compares the distribution and function of eight Saisiyat negators ('oka', 'okay, 'okik, 'amkay, 'amkik, 'izi', 'in'ini,2 and kayni') and attempts to resolve the following questions: what is the morphosyntactic relationship that 'oka', 'okay, 'okik, 'amkay, and 'amkik bear to one another?3 Why are certain negators followed by a "ligature"—two different ligatures are identified, the first is 'i (1a) and the second is 'ik (1b)—and others not (1c)?
(1) Based on Yeh (2000b)4
a. yako 'am 'oka' ila 'i shebet ka korkoring
1SG.NOM will NEG ASP LIG beat ACC child
'I will not beat the child any longer.'
b. t<in>aw'an 'aehae' ila tinal'omaeh, 'oka' na 'ik sizaeh5
build.house<PERF> one ASP year NEG still LIG finish
'It has been built for one year, but is (still) not finished.'
c. yako kayni' Ø s<om>i'ael ka 'alaw
1SG.NOM NEG Ø eat<AF> ACC fish
'I do not want to eat the fish.'
What is the grammatical status of these ligatures? To what degree do they differ from ligatures occurring in complex sentences (cf. Ø in [2a] and komosha'6 in [2b])?
a. 'oya' sh<om>iwa: ka kapinaw Ø sh<om>a'ish ka kayba:en
mother agree ACC lady Ø sew<AF> ACC clothes
'Mother agreed that the lady sew the clothes.' (Yeh 1997)
b. sia ra:am k<om>osha'yako kama rae'oe: ka pinobae:h
3SG.NOM know COMP 1SG.NOM REL drink ACC wine
'He knows that I drink wine.' (Chang 1997)
What are the factors that determine the marking—as dependent (3a) or independent (3b)—of the negated verb? The negator or the ligature?
a. 'izi' si'ael/*s<om>i'ael ka pazay7
NEG eat/*eat<AF> ACC rice
'Don't eat (the) rice.' (Yeh 2000b)
b. yako kayni' m-ae'rem/*pae'rem
1SG.NOM NEG AF-sleep/*sleep
'I do not want to sleep.' (Yeh 1991:91)
In my opinion, while the first of these questions is well handled, that is, the morphosyntactic relationship 'oka' and its counterparts bear to one another is correctly identified and accounted for, Yeh (2000b) is unable to answer the last two questions, because linguistic phenomena pertaining to verbal morphology (which are rather transparent in other Formosan languages) have been blurred in Saisiyat. In the present paper, I suggest answers to these questions, and, in so doing, I show the analytic contradictions raised by Yeh's (2000b) analysis.
2. Review of Yeh's (2000) Analysis.
According to Yeh (1991 and subsequent works), focus markers in Saisiyat can be divided into two different sets, as shown in table 1. The first set corresponds to [-dependent] verbs, that is, verbs that [End Page 126] occur in affirmative declarative constructions (4a); the second indicates that the verb is [+ dependent],8 that is, it occurs in imperative (4b) or negative (4c) constructions.
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a. yako s<om>i'ael ka pazay
1SG.NOM eat<AF> ACC rice
'I ate rice.' (Yeh 1991:34)