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Phaleran Case Update (2): Dative

From:Thomas R. Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Monday, August 6, 2001, 6:33
(continued from previous post)

In the last post I discussed Phaleran ergativity.  Here's a
sample sentence:

    Syaseillu            eoi        gethasyonni
    PL.child.ERG    3pSgO  see.TR.3pPL-ProxPfRe.Sen
    'The children looked at him'

(PL:   plural;  3p:  third person; Sg: singular; O: objective case;
TR: transitive marker; PL-Prox:  plural agreement marker for
proximative subjects; Pf:  perfective aspect; Re: realis mode;
Sen: sensory evidential marker)

Dative (-uo / -wo)

The Phaleran dative case does a lot of heavy lifting:  it marks
roles like the Recipient, Goal, Location, with noncontrol verbs,
the Perceiver, and Possession with inanimate and nonvolitional
possessors.  Here're some samples (this is what I've been looking
forward to):


    Atherlu         dzarituo       sunesna         hnerrateonten
    father.ERG    son.DAT    bill.PL.ABS  give.DITR.3pSgPfRe.Quot
    'So I hear, (the) father gave (his) son some money.'

There are two types of this:  temporal and spatial.
(1) Temporal

    Tyaleisuo     gwelariltâ?
    noon.DAT   go.INTR.1pPlPrProsIr-Quest
    'Are we going to go at noon?'

(2) Spatial

    Twolyeowo      phrâstyumendru       klortasyonnen
    Twolyeo.DAT  council-of-20.ERG  order.TR.3pPL-ProxPfRe.Quot

    štî     balyei             kwiltr|anâs                tharilsta
    that   pogrom.ABS dissent.AG.PL.BEN  be.INTR.3pSgProgIr
    'In Twolyeo, the Council of Twenty ordered a pogrom of dissidents.'

(Here the subordinate clause is treated like a objective noun, hence
the remaining ergative and transitivity markers.  Also, one ancillary
use of the benefactive is the negative benefactive, here the poor

This is a rather important function of the dative case, because it is *the*
distinguishing factor for many verbal pairs where one case (ergative)
renders a control-interpretation, while the other (the dative) renders
a noncontrol-interpretation.  Let's look at the ergative sample again,
but as a noncontrol verb:

    Syaseiwo           eoi        gethasyonni
    PL.child.DAT    3pSgO  see.TR.3pPL-ProxPfRe.Sen
    'The children saw him'

Note that though the subject is in the dative case, the verb still
treats it as if it were ergative.  In a sense, you could rephrase it
as 'For the children, they saw him'.  Another example of this in
English would be hear/listen.

Because Phaleran is a fairly thoroughly head-marking language, unlike
English, the possessive construction marks the thing that is possessed,
and places the possessor in apposition to it in the absolutive case.  For
the dative case to be triggered, the "possessor" must be either inanimate
or nonvolitional.

T'ulwa          tuthuranuo             tþenarisnon
palace.ABS  PL.janissary.DAT  rise-up.INTR.3pPL-ProxProgRe.Hyp.Quot
'They say that they palace's janissaries are rising in revolt.'

In the antipassive, the dative also marks proper or common nouns as
derived objects, but unfortunately I haven't gotten to verbal voice yet,
so I don't have an example to show you.  In the third post:  the instrumental

Thomas Wier | AIM: trwier

"Aspidi men Saiôn tis agalletai, hên para thamnôi
  entos amômêton kallipon ouk ethelôn;
autos d' exephugon thanatou telos: aspis ekeinê
  erretô; exautês ktêsomai ou kakiô" - Arkhilokhos