|From:||Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, August 5, 2003, 20:00|
Rob Haden wrote:
> 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').
Without further information, it's impossible to tell. I would guess
that it's ergative, but I can't be sure without further information
One possibility is that this is simply some strange accusative system
wherein the accusative is unmarked but the nominative is marked. How
are intransitive sentences dealt with? To say "I am running", would you
Myáya n(w)a [run]
If it's the first, then it's accusative, albeit an unusual one, since
nominative, but *not* accusative, is marked. If it's the second, then
it's ergative (and a fairly typical one at that, since ergative is
marked but not absolutive; and using the same suffix for genitive and
ergative is not uncommon either) . If it depends on the particular
verb, or on the semantics of the situation, then it's active (and
presumably one that evolved from an ergative system).
"There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd,
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