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User instructions -- Search for information on particular languages and examples
This search option allows users to select one of the sample languages from a drop-down field. The search delivers two kinds of data: (i) lexico-grammatical information ('grammar fragments') and (ii) glossed examples and references.
1. The grammar fragments provide the following pieces of information:
- The structure of an NP containing an adnominal intensifier (not only the intensifier itself!). Parentheses indicate that the relevant component is optional, and slashes are used to mark paradigmatic alternatives as such.
Example: the entry '(NP/PRO) POSS-xatà' (from the Abkhaz data) indicates that there is a lexical item -xatà which takes an obligatory possessor prefix (POSS-), and may additionally combine with either a lexical NP or a free pronoun (NP/PRO).
- The sortal restrictions that the intensifier described in (a.) is subject to (e.g. human/animate referents).
Example: the Kannada intensifier taan combines only with animate head NPs.
- The lexical source of the intensifier in (a.).
Example: the Hebrew intensifier etsem is related a lexeme meaning 'bone'.
- Other intensifiers of the language in question. Often, such alternative intensifiers have a more specialized meaning than the 'primary' intensifier given in (a.) (e.g. restriction to persons with a high social rank, restriction to human referents etc.).
Example: the German intensifier höchstpersönlich is restricted to (human) referents with a high social rank.
- The adverbial-exclusive intensifier, or a semantically equivalent construction. The adverbial-exclusive intensifier may or may not be identical to the primary adnominal intensifier of the language.
Example: the Hebrew adverbial-exclusive intensifier is composed of the instrumental preposition be and the adnominal intensifier etsem (cf. Engl. by himself/herself/itself).
- The primary reflexivization strategy of the language in question (if there is more than one such strategy, additional information is given in the 'comments'-field).
Example: Finnish has a verbal reflexive -UtU, but the intensifier itse can also be used in a reflexivizing function.
- The lexical item or construction expressing attributive intensification ('own') (cf. the information on intensifiers).
Example: Abkhaz uses the lexeme xa- in combination with an attributive marker -t°' for attributive intensification (xà-t°').
- The scalar focus particle of the relevant language ('even').
Example: the scalar focus particle of Armenian is nuynisk.
- An all-purpose 'comments'-field where information relating to all of the aforementioned fields is provided (phonetic/phonological information, paradimgs of intensifiers or reflexives, distributional or morphological idiosyncrasies of the different markers etc.).
Example: the French intensifier même always combines with a pronoun when the head NP has an animate referent (le directeur lui-même 'the director himself'). Inanimate head NPs do not require (but allow) such a pronominal copy (both dans l'oasis elle-même and dans l'oasis même 'in the oasis itself' are possible). In quasi-superlative uses of intensifiers (She is dignity itself), même does not combine with a pronominal copy (Elle est la dignité même, but not *Elle est la dignité elle-même).
- Geographic and genealogical information about the language.
Example: Chalcatongo Mixtec is spoken in America/Mesoamerica, and it belongs to the Oto-Manguean family (Mixtecan, Mixtec-Cuicatec)
2. The examples provided in the database are classified according to the type of expression which they exemplify (adnominal intensifier, reflexive etc.). Abbreviations in glosses are normalized (click here for a list of glosses), and sources are generally indicated. Also, there is a 'comments'-field where peculiarities of the specific examples are pointed out.
Example from: Albanian Nr. of example: 195 Example of: reflexive original: unё e lavdёrova veten gloss: I it praise REFL translation: I praised myself. source: Buchholz, Oda & Wilfried Fiedler (1987). Albanische Grammatik. Leipzig: VEB Enzyklopädie. page: 282 comments: e: clitic object marking on the verb; e and veten are third person despite reflexive semantics (see glosses)