ELG: Negating BAI

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A brief summary of {NAhE + BAI} and how all the causation prepositions work, and how they interact with NAhE and NAI, since all this should be common knowledge (afterall it's needed on a daily basis).

The idea is that each of the {to'e + causation preposition} give a different shade of {fanta}, "to prevent".

For example, {to'e ri'a} means the same as {to'e rinka}, just in preposition form, and adding {nai} to a preposition creates a contradictory negation (i.e. {ri'a nai} -> {na rinka}).

To begin with, using a causation preposition puts the tagged sumti into the x1, and the main bridi into the x2. Here is an example:

Example 1a
mi lebna ki'u lo nu mi xagji mutce
I took it because I was so hungry.

(1a) can be refactored as (1b).

(1b) lo nu mi xagji mutce cu krinu lo nu [da'i nai] mi lebna
     "My being very hungry was the reason I took it."

(you need to make sure that the events are still getting asserted, which I will ignore here for the sake of simplicity)

This transformation is very basic, but it helps us to undestand the meaning of more complex preposition and their relationship to the main bridi. It's possible to attach NAhE as well as NAI, as in (2a) and (3a).

(2a) mi klama mu'i nai lo nu lo speni cu zvati
     "I didn't go because my wife was there." (but presumably for another reason)"

{mu'i nai} does not mean "despite" (anymore). (2b) shows why (2a) means what it means now, using the same transformation as before:

(2b) lo nu lo speni cu zvati cu na mukti lo nu mi klama
     "My wife being there was not the motivation for my going there."

Next, (3a) shows an example of {to'e}+causative.

(3a) ? mi farlu to'e ri'a lo nu do jgari lo mi xance
       "I fell, prevented by your holding my hand."

Refactoring, we get (3b).

(3b) lo nu do jgari lo mi xance cu to'e rinka lo nu mi farlu
     "You holding my hand prevented my from falling."

In (3a), we have the slightly strange case of a preposition removing the assertion from the main bridi without any contradictory negation, which is probably exactly what confused you. The strangeness disappears in (3b), because rinka2 is no longer asserted by default.

We can either conclude that (3a) is not a well-formed statement, or that there exist certain prepositions that can change the assertive force of the main bridi on their own. The former would make {to'e ri'a} rather useless, as you noticed; the latter would be slightly unusual (not completely unusual, cf. CAhA).

In any case, while {to'e ri'a} itself might be of limited use, {to'e se ri'a} is still perfectly usable, as for example in (3c):

(3c) do jgari lo mi xance to'e se ri'a lo nu mi farlu
     "You held my hand, thereby preventing me from falling."

And once we add a {nai} to {to'e ri'a}, all is in order again, as shown by (4a-b).

(4a) mi dunda fi do to'e mu'i nai lo nu do ta'e darxi
     "I will give it to you despite you always hitting me."

And again, we can rewrite as (4b) to see how that meaning comes about.

(4b) lo nu do ta'e darxi cu na to'e mukti lo nu mi dunda fi do
     "You always hitting me does not demotivate me from giving it to you."

All the above works in exactly the same way with the other BAI that can integrate the main bridi as an argument of their base predicate, like {tai} and {du'i}, so it's very important to learn this well. Plus, it's a recurring theme in tense semantics, too.