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Triggeriness ...

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 9, 2003, 17:18
This discussion of trigger languages is making me confused - I thought I had a
decent idea what they were about, but apparently not. Anyway, it seems to me
whether a language use a trigger system or not should be orthogonal to whether
it's accusative, ergative, active, clairvoyant, MRL or tripartite, so please
shoot the following down:

Assume we want to translate the English sentences "I bathed _in the pool_"
and "I killed a shark _in the pool_" into a trigger lang. According to my
(apparently erroneous) understanding, these would become something like

the_pool-TRIG bathed-LOC (i)


the_pool-TRIG killed-LOC a_shark-P (ii)

and therefore it would a perfectly well-defined question which, if any, of the
markers S, A and P are identified. Say that the markings S and A are the same,
and we'd have a nominative trigger language; say A and P are the same, and
we'd have a MRL trigger language; and so on.

It would still apply if we retopicalize: bathed-S' the_pool-LOC' (iii) killed-A' the_pool-LOC' a_shark-P (iv)

a_shark-TRIG killed-P' the_pool-LOC' (v)

since we simply ask which, if any, of S', A' and P' are identified.

Also, since this is apparently NOT how a trigger language works, what would
one call a language that DOES work like this, and are there any?


Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>