Re: THEORY: genitive vs. construct case/izafe
|From:||Thomas Wier <trwier@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, July 26, 2005, 6:08|
> > (When a noun is not possessed in a language with
> > morphological state, it gets the "absolutive state" in some terminologies.
> > This is what it's called for Nahuatl, for example, or Tzeltal.)
> (Oh yes, I remember the absolutive state in Nahuatl... It's been a
> long time since I've last had to deal with ergative-absolutive
> languages, so it took me a while to remember that yes, there's an
> absolutive *case* as well.)
I'd say this is a misrepresentation of the absolutive suffix in
Nahuatl. It does disappear, true, when possessive prefixes are
used, but it also disappears in the unpossessed plural. And
Nahuatl is a more or less run-of-the-mill nominative/accusative
language, not an ergative language like Tzeltal. I wouldn't
call it a case at all; if anything, it's some kind of determiner,
but even that is a stretch.
Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally,
Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right
University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of
1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter.
Chicago, IL 60637