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Lenmoct Actancy (was Re: CONLANG Digest - 21 Feb 2004 to 22 Feb 2004 (#2004-52))

From:Jake X <starvingpoet@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 25, 2004, 1:48
[an'dr\ejas \o_Ut]:
> There are also hierarchical systems, in which A and P are not treated > differently syntactically or morphologically, but you have an animacy > hierarchy for nouns and pronouns, so that the argument higher in the
> is automatically considerd to be the A. To express "the water drank the
> you have to put the verb in a special reverse voice.
And in my conlang Lenmoct, there is a gender hierarchy which assumes the female noun is the subject and incorperates reverse roles (marked on the article of the nouns) if the male is doing anything at all. Actually, it hadn't occured to me, but Lenmoct (['lEmVC]) is actually a good example of a conlang that is neither accusative nor ergative. It is entirely gender-based. For example (::digs out ancient months-old notes::), Li cgot cualnmacec cg tddan. [lI xot wal'ma.kEk x=.TraN] the.fem woman love.past.fem the.masc The woman loved the man. But: Cioa tddran cualnmanmec ciu cgot. [j9 TraN wal'mamEk ju xot] the.masc.INVERSE man love.past.masc the.fem.INVERSE woman The man loved the woman. Though it may seem like simply a question of whether or not to switch articles, the hierarchy is ingrained into the rest of the system, so that male and female are always treated differently. Another example: Cil cgot. Cualmacec cg tddan. the.fem.general woman. loved.feminine.past man There was a woman. (She) loved the man. The general article just introduces a noun like "There is," but is used much more often in Lenmoct to preface locutions and create "default" arguments. In this case, since there is a female antecedent (cgot) she is assumed to be the subject of the next sentence, and need not be repeated. Similiarly, if you introduce a male antecedent with a general article (possibly earlier in the locution), and then have a sentence with a transitive verb and no object, the male is the implied object. Passives follow a similar pattern. Cg tddan cualmacec. the.masc man love.past.fem The man was loved. (The subject is technically an unnamed feminine noun, but sinse the male came first in the sentence it is not reffering to some previously stated feminine subject. Notice no inverse, since the masculine noun is still the object.) Ciu cgot cualmacec. the.fem.INVERSE woman love.past.fem The woman was loved. (Notice the unknown subject is feminine by default, and woman is inverse because she's the object). What do you all think? Does this kind of thing have a natlang equivalent? Jake