Re: Tagalog - response to takatunu (was Re: Help: Ergative VOS
|Date:||Thursday, December 25, 2003, 20:43|
Isaac Penzev <isaacp@...> wrote:
That's why I sorta like the term "possessive typology" I met in some books
written by ex-USSR linguists, as contrasted to "accusative", "ergative" and
"active" ones. I mentioned it in one of my earlier msgs, but it may be lost
snwstorm chats :)
I've read a line about this "possessive" stuff in "L'Homme de parole" de C.
This guy and others have an interesting theory about active nom-axcc verbal
systems. They say its axis is the psychological notion of "contrôle."
The subject of the active verb is the argument considered as "controling"
the process "more(!)" than the object is. I like this theory because it kind
of explains why certain verbs would promote one argument as the natural
subject (that is, the "agent" for the verb-agent-patient theoricists) and
the other one as object (or "patient")rather than reversely although
sometimes none or both of them would feature "cause", "will" or "experience"
(like in most of verbs featuring a situation or locative meaning.) For
"The snow covers the field." (The covering item is "in control" of the
"The baby wears a T-shirt." (The worn item is "controled" by the person
"The pond contains water." (Maybe some "possessor-attribute" notion here as
"The man sees the tree." (Maybe the tree is a kind of visual "prey?" :-))
I've read some people on the Internet claiming you can guess which argument
is picked as subject by picking the one that could be considered as an
"instrument", that is a "substitute" to a sentient agent (and some other
contend this.) But picking the one that is more loosely considered "in
control" is maybe more telling, isn't it?