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Why Triggers?

From:David Peterson <digitalscream@...>
Date:Tuesday, October 2, 2001, 0:37
    Okay, now that I (think I) understand what a trigger language is, why the
heck would one come about?  What's the point of them?
    If I understand them correctly, then the following English sentence:   "I
give the dog a bone."
Could come out three different ways in a trigger language.

1.) I (unmarked) give (nominative/ergative/agent) the dog
(dative/benefactive) a bone (acc./absol.)
2.) I (nom/erg/agt) give (dat/ben) the dog (unmarked) a bone (acc./absol.)
3.) I (nom/erg/agt) give (acc./absol.) the dog (dat./ben.) a bone (unmarked)

[The cases depend on what distinction the language makes, I guess; or does it

    So what on Earth is the point?  What would the difference be in these
three sentences?  Is it focus?  I mean, if the cases aren't changed at all,
just where the marking is...why?  Am I missing something about trigger
languages here?  Does any one have a trigger language in which you could
illustrate the above example?  I just don't understand, semantically, what
the difference is, and why such a distinction would be.  Can anyone help me



Barry Garcia <barry_garcia@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>