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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