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Re: Case and conjugation names (for YACL)

From:Carlos Thompson <chlewey@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 14:26
----- Original Message -----
From: "Roger Mills" <romilly@...>
To: <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 12:07 AM
Subject: Re: Case and conjugation names (for YACL)

> Carlos Thompson wrote: > > > The language is chiefly SVO, but sentences can also be easily SOV or
> > > > Nouns might have several cases, whose names are somehow arbitrary here: > > > > 1. a nominative/absolute case, which is how the word appears as subject
> > SVO and SOV constructions. > > > > 2. an accusative case, used for the object when they are affected by the > > verb. > > > > 3. an ergative case, used by the object when they are performing the
> > > > 4. a dative case, used when they object is the focus of the action of
> > verb. > > > > 5. an ablative case, used when the object causes the action of the verb, > but > > does not acts it. > > > > Verbs are conjugated, not to the person of the subject but to how they
> > related to the subject: > > This sounds somewhat like a Philippine-type focus system, > but with more overt case marking....Usually the verb is first, > with the appropriate marker, then the subject/focus with a > special marker (or "trigger"), then the ancillary arguments, > usually with "oblique" markers of some sort..
yes, when I came to the idea it seems that it was some kind of trigger system. [...]
> > conjugation 4. Means that the subject is provoking (but not > > causing) the verb. > Would this be instrumental? You don't give any exs....
Yes. I have the concept more or less clear in my mind, but as this is not a construction in the languages I know I cannot quite come to an example. Probably a close example are the "for" cases in English: I did it for her = she-abs do-4 I-erg or some command: "she made me do it" (same gloss). This would also be the role ofa catalyzer in chemistry. spray_deodorants-abs break_down-4 ozone_layer-acc
> Following on the Philippine model, you could also include > locative and instrumentals. Maybe even, as you suggest, > a genitive focus-- not sure how that would work, but it > sounds interesting--- > > "We visited John's house" > something like "John's was > the house we visited" (awkward in Engl.)-- > John-G(focus/subj) visit-G house-?? we-??
Hmmm. Not sure if this is how it would work. I still have a few things to round up the idea, and how the cases relate to both verbs and other nouns.
> > conjugation 0. Means that the verb is not clarifying > > the relationship with the subject: used mainly in > > VSO constructions. > I don't quite understand this.
Basically when the verb gets the focus.
> > Example: > > > > The house burns: > > 1) house-abs burn-2 > > 2) burn-0 house-acc > Would these correspond roughly to: > 1. the house burnt down > 2. (someone) burnt down the house
more like 2. burning took the house down
> (snips) > > John gives Mary a book: > > 1) John-abs give-1 Mary-dat book-acc (etc.) > > 2) Mary-abs give-3 book-acc John-erg (etc.) > > 3) book-abs give-2 Mary-dat John-erg (etc.) > > 4) give-0 Mary-dat book-acc John-erg (etc.) > > > 1,2,3 are clear; what would 4 correspond to in Engl. or Spanish??
4) Giving to Mary the book John did... or something like that. 4a) give-0 John-erg book-acc Mary-dat = Diole Juan el libro a María -- Carlos Th