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Re: inalienable possession

From:Mathias M. Lassailly <lassailly@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 18, 1998, 6:49
Matt wrote :

> In some ergative languages (I'm thinking especially of Australian languages) > the ergative and the instrumental are homophonous, and can be considered > a single case form. Participants marked by this case are interpreted as > agents if animate, and instruments if inanimate: > > John-ERG knife-ERG chicken-ABS killed > "John killed the chicken with the knife" > > Tokana, it seems, is like PL in that the ergative case is reserved for > volitional animates. Non-volitional and/or inanimate participants are > marked with the instrumental case: > > Na Tsion mukteh hitol > the-Erg John-Erg closed-the door-Abs > "John closed the door (on purpose)" > > Inan Tsionne mukteh hitol > the-Inst John-Inst closed-the door-Abs > "John closed the door (accidentally)" > > Itan suhune mukteh hitol > the-Inst wind-Inst closed-the door-Abs > "The wind closed the door" >
Christophe's language is almost like that. Funny that he re-makes nat- and conlangs he didn't learn. My languages also work like that : cases equate voices and derive from the verbs 'to be' (=equative), 'to have as inalienable feature' (=attributive), 'to use' (=instrumental), 'to make' (=causative), 'to suffer' (=patientive) with a tag making them *inalienable attributes* of the predicate : I hammer a nail with a stone : me-ERG stone-INSTR nail-PAT hammer. I flatten field : me-CAUS field-EQUA flat-thing. I strengthen you me-CAUS you-ATTRIB strength. I clothe you with a coat me-CAUS you-ATTRIB (coat-INSTR) coat. Mathias ----- See the original message at