Re: THEORY: unergative
|From:||Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>|
|Date:||Friday, February 27, 2004, 20:57|
On Wed, 25 Feb 2004 20:58:31 -0600,
Herman Miller <hmiller@...> wrote:
> Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
> > Hallo!
> > On Sun, 22 Feb 2004 13:44:38 -0600,
> > Herman Miller <hmiller@...> wrote:
> >> But in Dyirbal for instance, which is one of the
> >>standard examples of an ergative language, first and second person
> >>pronouns are nominative/accusative. In my own language Kazvarad, which
> >>was originally a human language (and is currently in an undefined state,
> >>depending on whether there turn out to be humans in the Azirian
> >>universe), the pronoun prefixes on verbs are nominative/accusative,
> >>while nouns have ergative/absolutive morphology.
> > Which, AFAIK, violates a universal that states that if there is
> > a split on the referential hierarchy, it's the other way round,
> > as in Dyirbal.
Oops, I should read more carefully. I somehow got that upside-down,
I misread it as if Kazvarad used ergative marking on pronoun
prefixes and accusative marking on nouns - which would indeed
violate a universal - but that's not the case. So there actually
is no violation of any universal involved here.
> The difference between Dyirbal and Kazvarad is in the third person
> pronouns; Dyirbal only uses nominative/accusative for the first and
> second person pronouns, while Kazvarad also uses them for the third
> person pronouns. Thomas E. Payne gives a convenient hierarchy chart for
> 1 > 2 > 3 > 1 > 2 > 3 > proper names > humans > non-human > inanimates
> agreement > pronouns animates
> definite > indefinite
> Things farther to the left on this diagram are more likely to be
> nominative/accusative, while things farther to the right are more likely
> to be ergative/absolutive. Kazvarad just happens to fit; I designed it
> long before I'd heard of this universal.
Yes. There is nothing "wrong" with the Kazvarad system.