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Re: Ergativity

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Saturday, August 16, 2003, 3:17
Muke Tever scripsit:

> Actually, I think that for most animate subjects that "X cooks" cannot be > interpreted in more than _one_ way. It's only when animacy is low enough that > "X cooks" can be read in middle voice.
I don't agree at all. "Robert was cooking on the stove last winter" vs. "Robert was cooking under the UV lamp last winter", e.g. I think it's Ambrose Bierce who tells the anecdote about a man whose mule was in a fire, is told that the mule "is still smoking", and swears he'll break him of the habit -- tobacco is too expensive. -- "But the next day there came no dawn, John Cowan and the Grey Company passed on into the darkness of the Storm of Mordor and were lost to mortal sight; but the Dead followed them. --"The Passing of the Grey Company"