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Mathias's message

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Monday, February 8, 1999, 8:01
        Mathias currently has problems and cannot send posts to the conlang list,
so he asked me to send it. So here it is.

>" > > <pine.3.89.9902051156.a80288-010000-@...> wrote: >Original Article: >> Inspired by yesterday's back-and-forth with Nik Taylor about antipassives >> in Watya'i'sa (sp?), I have decided to add an antipassive construction >> to Tokana. (It makes sense, given that Tokana is supposed to be an >> ergative language.) In the process, I have dropped some other features >> of the language, and changed my understanding of absolutive arguments >> in Tokana. So here's the state of the art: >> >> In Tokana, agentive subjects are ergative while objects and non-agentive >> subjects are generally absolutive (abstracting away from those verbs >> which idiosyncratically assign dative case to their subject or object): >> >> Ani kahte-ke >> she:Erg hit-you:Abs >> "she hit you" >> >> Ani hostane >> she:Erg danced >> "she danced" >> >why not abs. nai hostane ? Is it because of a distinction from intransitivity >? > >> Nai tioke >> she:Abs died >> "she died" >> > >snip > > >> When the verb is in the antipassive, the direct object may be >> added back in as an optional dative case argument. Thus we get >> alternations like the following: >> > >Very naturalistic. I've read once that's how some ergative languages may have >'found out' accusative through antipassive. > >> Na Tsion tiespe-h katia >> the:Erg John built-the:Abs house >> "John built the house" >> >> Ne Tsion u-tiespe >> the:Abs John Antipass-built >> "John built (something)" >> or "John did some building" >> >> Ne Tsion u-tiespe-i katia-i >> the:Abs John Antipass-built-the:Dat house-Dat >> "John did some building on the house" >> >> The antipassive construction is used in a number of contexts. For >> example, if the direct object is not affected (in the usual way) by >> the action, then it will normally appear in the dative case with >> the verb in the antipassive: >> >> Na Tsion kahte-m >> the:Erg John hit-me:Abs >> "John hit me" >> >> Ne Tsion u-kahte-ma >> the:Abs John Antipass-hit-me:Dat >> "John did some hitting at me" >> >> The second sentence might be used if John took a swing at me and >> missed, or if John hit me but it had no effect on me (e.g. I just >> ignored it). >> > >very Spanish:-) > >> The antipassive is also used if the direct object is only partially >> affected by the action. Compare: >> >> Na Tsion tiespe-h katia >> the:Erg John built-the:Abs house >> "John built the house" >> >> Ne Tsion u-tiespe-i katia-i >> the:Abs John Antipass-built-the:Dat house-Dat >> "John did some building on the house" >> or "John built part of the house" >> >> The antipassive construction can also be used to indicate imperfective >> (or progressive) aspect. Since "John is building the house" entails >> "John has built part of the house", the semantic extension from partial >> affectedness of the object to progressive aspect seems natural to me >> (and has precedents in other languages): >> > >This nicely resumes acting, aspect and volition. > >> Ne Tsion u-tiespe katia-i >> the:Abs John Antipass-built house-Dat >> "John is/was building a house" >> or "John is/was building houses" >> >> Notice that this use of the antipassive can be translated using the >> present progressive ("is building") or the past progressive ("was >> building"). To disambiguate in favour of the present progressive >> interpretation, the adverbial "kas" = "already, as of now" may be >> added: >> >> Ne Tsion kas u-tiespe katia-i >> the:Abs John as:of:now Antipass-built house-Dat >> "John is building a house/houses (now)" >> >> This last sentence could be more accurately translated "As of >> now, John has partially built a house", which, under normal >> circumstances, could be taken to imply that he is building the house >> now. >> > >snip > > >> >> What do people think? >> > >Very impressive. More personally, I like the link with aspect. >I also have something like a 'finitive' tag, that is, a tag pointing the
>playing the role of one of the usual results of the action (cases equate >voices) : > >see a-me e-house : I look the house. >see e-house a-me : the house is looked at by me. >see a-me o-house : I see the house (house is the image). >see o-house a-me : the house appears to me. > >offer a-me e-you o-food : I offer you food. (food is the gift). > >cut a-me e-bread o-slice : I cut bread into slices >cut o-slice e-bread a-me : slice is cut from the bread by me > >> Matt. > >Mathias > >
Christophe Grandsire |Sela Jemufan Atlinan C.G. "Reality is just another point of view." homepage :