Re: THEORY: Morphosyntactic Alignment (again?), and Milewski
|From:||Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>|
|Date:||Monday, May 15, 2006, 15:22|
On 5/14/06, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...> wrote:
> Milewski's extension, on the other hand, has been to add what I will
> call "genitive phrases" to the mix; that is, to align expressions in which
> one noun modifies another noun (possessor-modifying-possessum seems
> prototypical) with the prototypical bivalant monotransitive clauses and the
> prototypical monovalent intransitive clauses.
> Some abbreviations will now be useful;
> A = Agent of prototypical bivalent monotransitive clause
> O = Patient of prototypical bivalent monotransitive clause
> S = Single argument of prototypical monovalent intransitive clause
> G = Possessor, or, noun which is being used to modify another noun
> C = Thing possessed, or, noun which is being modified by another noun
> If a language has just two ways of marking these roles, then,
> * either S is marked like A or S is marked like O;
> and independently,
> * either S is marked like G or S is marked like C.
In the languages I'm most familar with, G is marked
and C can be marked like either A, P or S. I.e., in a
genitive language, why say that the possessum is
prototypically S, or A, when it can just as easily be O?
"His dog chased her cat."
G A V G P
That is, it makes sense to say that in English and other
genitive languages C is unmarked rather than that it
is marked like S or A or P.
> This gives four alignments when there are only two marking-types:
> A=S=C (nominative), O=G (accusative=genitive);
> A=S=G (nominative), O=C (accusative= construct state);
> O=S=C (absolutive), A=G (ergative=genitive);
> O=S=G (absolutive), A=C (ergative= construct state).
Esperanto has A=S=G, O -- unless I'm misunderstanding
something here. G is marked with a preposition "de", and that
preposition takes a nominative object. C can be =A or =P.
(Does "only two marking types" refer to cases/word order
positions only or also to adpositions?)
[I seem to vaguely recall someone saying that Esperanto's
use of the nominative as the normal case for objects of
prepositions violates some universal. If so, it's a universal
of natural language evolution, not of the human language
faculty, since people can learn to think fluently in Esperanto
and automatically apply this rule.]
> If, on the other hand, there are three marking-types, fourteen other
> possibilities are opened up:
> A=S=C (nominative), O (accusative), G (genitive);
> A=S=G (nominative), O (accusative), C (construct state);
> O=S=C (absolutive), A (ergative), G (genitive);
> O=S=G (absolutive), A (ergative), C (construct state);
> S=A (nominative), O=C (accusative= construct state),
> S=A (nominative), O=G (accusative=genitive),
> S=C (nominative/absolutive = construct state), A=G (ergative=genitive), O
> S=C (nominative/absolutive = construct state), O=G (accusative=genitive), A
> S=G (nominative/absolutive = genitive), A=C (ergative= construct state), O
> S=G (nominative/absolutive = genitive), O=C (accusative= construct state),
> A (ergative);
> S=O (absolutive), A=C (ergative= construct state), G (genitive);
> S=O (absolutive), A=G (ergative=genitive), C (construct state);
> A=C (ergative= construct state), O=G (accusative=genitive), S
> A=G (ergative=genitive), O=C (accusative= construct state), S
> As a matter of fact Milewski knew of only six of these eighteen patterns
> being attested; he hypothesized those six were the only ones that actually
> 2) ObConLang: How do your conlangs fit into this typology?
My gjâ-zym-byn is fluid-S active, with a variety of genitive postpositions
for specific relationships (possession, ownership, entity-attribute,
part-whole, authorship, kinship...), and no construct state.
As a fluid-S language I don't think it fits into Milewski's
typology at all. There are at least three postpositions that can
mark the subject of a sentence (depending on animacy and
volitionality) and at least six that can mark the object of a
transitive verb, plus several others that can mark the predicate
of a subject noun when there is no verb.
One of my oldest conlangs, Pliv-Rektek, had
both a genitive case and what I then called a contra-genitive,
not having heard of the term "construct state". A simple
statement of possession used a noun in each case with no verb;
elsewhere one could use either case as needed to comment
on a subject or object being a possessor or posessum of
some other noun. So it would violate Milewski's tentative
universal that no language marks A, P, G and C in four