|Date:||Wednesday, February 23, 2000, 17:47|
I'm having to think a lot about my new language,
G'amah, with its ergative system... I've several
questions to ask:
1. The language is VSO, prepositional, rather
analytical (just lots of clitics). I want to
have an antipassive, which I mark with a prefix
on the verb and a particle that stands in place
of the demoted absolutive:
d'ul lli-nhach n'ana- hoh
eat AD cat AI.DUP mouse
'the cat eats mice'
ad'ul lli-nhach bu
AP.comer AD gato APO
'the cat eats'
APO means AntiPassive Object, but it's not clear whether
it's a meaningless particle or a resumptive pronoun
(the former is more likely, since it's totally
So the first question wouuld be: is this setting
likely? Would a language like this use some other
periphrastic construction for the antipassive
(just as modern IE languages do for the passive?).
2. In langs with passive voice, the demoted subject
can be mentioned with an oblique complement. What
would happen with antipassive objects? Any natlang
precedents of such a construction? In that case,
what would its connotations be? (In passive voice,
the idea is to emphasize the object and making
the subject irrelevant -- what about antipassive?).
Thanks in advance to any who reply. (Yes, Nik and
David, I'm talking to you :). This is totally new