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Re: THEORY: unergative

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Saturday, March 6, 2004, 23:51
John L. Leland wrote:

> My languages handle this in different ways. Rihana-ye has the verb dako (give > birth, literally givea child) used with the woman as subject and the child as > object, and if the child is subject the same verb is used in the passive > (dako-si). In other words, Rihana-ye follows roughly the English pattern. E.g. ka > bada dako: the woman bears ason. > Bada ka-je dako-si: the son is born by the woman.
Tirelat uses the same root "kazhna" for giving birth and laying eggs. su kiiva i -kazhna -lin my mozu NOM woman 3s-give.birth ACC baby the woman gave birth to a baby su linaar i -kazhna-lin my dzai NOM dragon 3s-lay ACC egg the dragon laid an egg (-lin is hearsay, past tense, perfective.)
> All these words would have the mother as subject and the child as object. > However, banty would mean "be born" and would have the child as subject. It is an > active verb in which the child is seen as doing the action, not a passive > construction.
Normally Tirelat would use a passive: su rasha i -ru -kazhna -lin NOM child 3s-PASS-give.birth the child was born But I wonder if it could be possible to use the middle voice here: su rasha i -mu -kazhna -lin NOM child 3s-MID-give.birth the child, umm, "came forth", as you put it. (Tirelat "rasha" is "child" in the sense of "offspring; son or daughter"; for "child" in the sense of "young person", the word "naraan" is used.)