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Re: THEORY: Morphosyntactic Alignment (again?), and Milewski

From:Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 22:13
On 5/16/06, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...> wrote:
> On Mon, 15 May 2006 11:22:43 -0400, Jim Henry > ><jimhenry1973@...> wrote:
<snip much goodness>
> The four of "my" types that _couldn't_ be covered by any of Milewski's six > types, look to be (er.xi), (er.xii), (er.xiii), and (er.xiv). > > I would, therefore, be very interested in any natlang which attests to one > of them.
I suspect the reason they don't fit any of Milewski's types is that he is by default assigning the unmarked one of genitive or construct to the least-marked of the theta role cases - nominative or ergative. In my analysis (such as it is) I would not assign the unmarked one to any particular case, and thus I would collapse some your types together: e.g., your v and ix I would both describe as: A=S (nominative), O (accusative), G (genitive), C is unmarked and similarly with the others that have a distinct G but conflate C with A or O, and those that have distinct C but conflate G with A or O. Of course this analysis wouldn't work for a language that really has a construct state identical to a particular oblique case and also has a distinct genitive, or vice versa; but if there are any such natlangs I don't know about them. As far as I know the construct state as such is attested only in the Semitic language family (see below), and there construct state is orthogonal to case.
> ObConLang: I would also be interested in any conlang which attests to one > of them.
> >>2) ObConLang: How do your conlangs fit into this > >>typology? > > [JH] > >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 > > [er] > _That_ is _very_ _interesting_! > > [JH] > >(depending on animacy and volitionality) > >and at least six that can mark the object of a > >transitive verb, > > [er] > That is interesting. > > [JH] > >plus several others that can mark the predicate of a > >subject noun when there is no verb. > > [er] > That sounds like the kind of phenomenon Milewski would have talked about; > unfortunately I can't figure out what he would have said about it. > > At any rate, it's both interesting in its own right, and right on-topic for > this post.
See for details. Feel free to inquire onlist or offlist if any part of it isn't clear.
> [JH] > >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". > > [er] > Is "construct state" a "case", as it seems at the moment? Or is it > like "definite" and "indefinite", whatever they are?
I treated the contra-genitive like a case in Pliv-Rektek, but according to this Wikipedia article, the construct state in Arabic and Hebrew is a kind of definiteness marking, not a case. I don't know if there is anything similar in other natlangs outside the Semitic family. The Wikipedia article mentions a "parallel" case in Irish which on close examination is not parallel at all. -- Jim Henry