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Re: Patient marking in active languages

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Sunday, February 19, 2006, 11:07

Nokta Kanto wrote:

> I came to a puzzling question when considering case markings in active > languages. From what I've read about active languages, they assign the > 'agent' case to the argument that performs the action, and the 'patient' > case to the argument that gets the effects of the action. > > What does an active language do for verbs that (arguably) > take two patients: own, be inside, overlook, ride, wear? Do they assign > the "agent" role to one of the arguments, or use some other noun case, or > not express such relationships as a verb clause?
I cannot speak for active languages in general, but I can say how these are treated in my conlang Old Albic. Many notions English uses transitive verbs with non-agent subjects for are treated differently in Old Albic. For example, you don't say "I have a house" but "To me is a house". Verbs of perception usually take dative subjects in Old Albic; they can also take agentive subjects, which indicates deliberate perception. Excample: Eterara on nderon am chvan. AOR-see-3SG:P-3SG:A the:M-DAT man-DAT the:C-OBJ dog-OBJ `The man saw the dog.' Eterara o ndero am chvan. AOR-see-3SG:P-3SG:A the:M-AGT man-AGT the:C-OBJ dog-OBJ `The man watched the dog.' In some other cases, one argument is treated as a patient and the other as locative or whatever. Greetings, Jörg.