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THEORY: Tagalog "Voice" (was: Voice, Mood, and Tense)

From:Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>
Date:Thursday, June 24, 1999, 13:59
Barry Garcia wrote:

> writes: >>You're right about Tagalog aspect. There is nothing more to it than >>perfective, imperfective, and intentive (or as your teacher calls =
>>completed, continuing, and contemplated), while tense is expressed >>paraphrastically. But there is no voice. > > >I actually found the aspect system easy to use when we got to it in my >Tagalog class (its all the focuses and remembering which verbs are one >tense and not the other, etc. that got me =3D)). The amazing thing was =
>one and one half months us beginners were writing simple page long =
> Anyway, about voice, the two books i have say that the focuses kind of >have voice, but since Tagalog isn't an IE lang, its like comparing =
>to oranges :). They say that the object focus (-In) is close to =
>and the actor focus (Um and Mag) is close to active.
The difference between voice and the focus system lies in the valency of the verbs. In voice languages, when you change the voice of a verb, you=20 change its valency as well. In trigger languages, the valency remains = the same across different focus patterns. For instance, active verbs require a certain number of arguments. When=20 this is changed to passive, the required number of arguments is reduced. = Consider: Active "The boy kissed the girl" Passive "The girl was kissed by the boy" In the active example, the verb "kissed" requires a subject and an = object.=20 That is, its not correct to just say, ?"The boy kissed" unless the = object is already implied. In the passive example, the valency was reduced so=20 that only the subject is required by the verb. That is, you can say "The = girl was kissed" or "The kissed girl". No such change in valency occurs in trigger languages across different=20 focus patterns. Consider Tagalog: Agent Focus "Bumili ako ng sabon" buy:AGT 1:TRG GEN soap I bought some soap. Patient Focus "Binili ko ang sabon" buy:PAT 1:GEN TRG soap The soap is such that I bought it. In both verbal forms "bumili" and "binili", the valency between these=20 two has not changed. That is, the number of required arguments of each of these verbs is exactly the same. In these cases, the required=20 argument is the trigger itself: Agent Focus "Ako'y bumili" 1:TRG TRG buy:AGT I was the buyer Patient Focus "Ang sabon ay binili" TRG soap INV buy:PAT The soap was the item that was bought. So the agent focus pattern is close to active, but not the same since=20 valency between agent focus and active is not the same. OTOH, patient focus is quite close to passive, becuase the valency is the same. But that does not mean they are the same because they are derived quite differently. The passive was derived by reducing the valency, while the patient focus was not derived in such a way. Comparing apples and oranges... indeed! Both are fruits in the sense=20 that both are ways to change what the sentence is about (focus). But=20 they are not the same fruit because the strategy used to achieve=20 this fruitiness is quite different. ;-) -kristian- 8)