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Agents and patients (II)

From:FFlores <fflores@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 14, 2000, 15:04
If you didn't read part I (the other message), do so
before reading this.

I've now changed this hierarchy, and I'm trying to assign
proper names to each case.

1, 2, 3, 4 = AGT, PAC, DAT, ABL could be
1, 2, 3, 4 = AGT, PAC, EXP, OBL

(EXP = experiencer; OBL = general oblique, probably source
too, and also demoted agent).

NPs in a sentence must follow this order; gaps are allowed, but
you can't shift orders without shifting cases. This double shift
also serves to mark topicality (still not sure about voice; I
think there won't be any mark on verbs, since the following
structure seems to suffice). Some examples:

Active volitional agent uses case 1:

    cat.1 mouse.2 kill
    'cat kills mouse'

In passive sentences, case 1 gets demoted to 4,
which also brings the patient to the front (topical

    mouse.2 cat.4 kill
    *'from cat kill mouse'
    'mouse is killed by cat'

Non-volitional agents/experiencers use case 3,
while their patients use case 4. The actual
meaning of verbs using this construction may be
different from the glosses.

    cat.3 mouse.4 see
    *'to cat see from mouse'
    'cat sees mouse'

In 'passive' sentences, there's a promotion of the syntactic
object (no demotion of subject!): the patient becomes case 2,
and topic:

    mouse.2 cat.3 see
    *'see mouse to cat'
    'mouse is seen by cat'

What does this look like? I personally think it's neat (the
hierarchical order really helps!).

--Pablo Flores