Animacy, Inverse Systems and Word Order
|From:||David Peterson <thatbluecat@...>|
|Date:||Monday, November 3, 2003, 6:47|
I'm toying with a new language that has animacy as well as an inverse system.
I have a couple of questions about natural languages with inverse systems
(i.e., what's attested, what's not).
First: Do languages with animacy and inverse systems ever have noun cases?
Second, assume the following:
1.) togo = man
2.) luka = wolf
3.) mata = see
4.) -s = inverse
5.) Humans are considered to be of higher animacy than animals.
6.) Verb-final word order.
According to the above system, both /togo luka mata/ and /luka togo mata/
would mean "The man sees the wolf."
However, let's say a language has preferred SOV word order. Would this mean
that you would never see /luka togo mata/? Or are there systems where the
noun with higher animacy must *necessarily* precede/follow the noun with lesser
animacy, making one of the two word orders impossible? And, if this is so,
let's say that you'd have:
togo luka mata = The man sees the wolf.
*luka togo mata = The man sees the wolf.
When you got an inverse marker in there, would the rules conflict--the ruler
that the noun of higher animacy must come first, and the rule that states
mandatory word order:
?togo luka matas = The wolf sees the man.
?luka togo matas = The wolf sees the man.
I don't really know much about animacy/inverse systems, so I was wondering.
Also, does having case obviate the need for an inverse system?
Thanks in advance!