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Re: non-accusative, non-ergative, non-active ...

From:Andreas Johansson <and_yo@...>
Date:Monday, March 11, 2002, 9:54
Stephen Mulraney wrote:
> >On Fri, 8 Mar 2002 13:41:04 -0500 >Andreas Johansson <and_yo@...> wrote: > > > If I had a language with no case affices, where word order in sentences >with > > a transitive verb is SOV and in ones with an intransitive SV, could that > > language be meaningfully be classified as accusative, ergative, active >or as > > not any of those three? > > >Now this is spooky - I'm just planning such a lang! I was thinking >of it as ergative, but now I realise that that's because it's a >development/modification/rectification/rewrite of an ergative one. > >Actually that's a lie - I've just noticed yours is SOV/SV, while mine is >VOS/VS. Same difference, though - my train of thought still applies - > >I think ergative is a reasonable description since the S of an >intransitive verb is marked in the same way (appearing next to the V), >as the O of a transitive verb. Personally I think it's a nice natural >way for ergativity to arise. > > > >What is 'active' used in this sense btw? If I was to make a guess, >propose the following: in the following schematic Si="Subject of >intr. vb", and St/Ot = "Subject/object of tr. vb.", and the star >indicates which are formally identified by the system > >Accusative Si* St* Ot >Ergative Si* St Ot* >?Active? Si St* Ot* > >OK, that doesn't seem like a very useful system >The two other possibilites are > Si* St* Ot* - completely nonfunctional? > Si St Ot - ah, makes more sense - is this active? > >Is it the last one, or am I on completely the wrong track?
I used "active" in the sense described in Daniel Andreasson's thesis on "Active Languages"; an active language is one where the intranstive subject S is sometimes marked like the transitive subject A and sometimes like the transitive object P. It'd thus include "fluid-S" and "split-S" languages. Andreas _________________________________________________________________ Join the world’s largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail.