0

Does any natural language have verbs that are both ditransitive and experiential?

I'm working on a conlang in which ditransitive experiential verbs exist. For example, we could have verbs that mean "[experience] X as Y." It could generate sentences such as "John sees his uncle as a doofus," or "The leather feels like soft stuff to the hippo."

However, the latter sentence might actually be better rendered with a copular verb, as in "The leather feels soft to the hippo." Most likely, there's a difference between the two sentences that makes the first a ditransitive experiential verb in my conlang, while the second sentence could be rendered with a copular verb. I don't know what the exact relevant difference between the two sentences is.

My hope is that by finding a natural language that features verbs that are experiential and ditransitive, I'll be able to better understand such verbs & their clauses.

However, if I learn that natural languages do without ditransitive experiential verbs, I could opt to simplify my conlang accordingly and save myself some work.

2
  • 2
    What sort of languages is experiential a formal category?
    – curiousdannii
    Jan 5 at 3:47
  • 1
    What constitutes an experiential verb to you? If ‘seeing X as Y’ counts as experiential, presumably so does ‘consider X to be Y’, which can be used ditransitively in English (“John considers his uncle a doofus”). Other Germanic languages use ditransitive structures for ‘seems to X to be Y’ (“Das scheint mir gut” ‘that looks good to me’ in German – or for that matter, “Leðrið er flóðhestinum mjúkt” or “Flóðhestinum þykist/finnst leðrið mjúkt” ‘the leather feels soft to the hippo’ in Icelandic). So I would guess the answer is yes, though you’ll probably have to define ‘experiential’ better. Jan 5 at 10:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.