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Re: Ergativity

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 5, 2003, 19:39
Rob Haden <magwich78@...> writes:

> Hey, > > I was wondering if the sentences below demonstrate an ergative distinction > in Pre-OurTongue: > > Myáya n(w)a thwáya ?yát?ya. > Me [GEN] you eat. > I am eating you. > > Myáya n(w)a ?yát?ya. > Me [GEN] eat. > I am eating (something). > > Myáya ?yát?ya. > Me eat. > I am being eaten (lit. '(Something) is eating me'). > > What do y'all think?
Looks like an active-stative system like the one I use in Q ("Elvish"). Here are the sentences in Proto-Q: Ma tham hatachama. 1SG-AGT 2SG-OBJ eat-2SG.OBJ-1SG.AGT `I eat you.' Ma hatama. 1SG-AGT eat-1SG.AGT `I eat (something).' Mam hataha. 1SG-OBJ eat-1SG.OBJ `I am eaten.' (lit. `(Something) eats me.') An ergative system would use the same case in the second and third examples, and an antipassive marking on the second example. The forms in your Pre-OurTongue look very Indo-European. Is the language related? (Yes, my Proto-Q also looks Indo-European, and it is indeed related.) Jörg.