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Active case-marking natlangs (was Re: What is neededinanconlang classificatory system?)

From:J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...>
Date:Monday, February 5, 2001, 7:06
Marcus Smith wrote:

> >I acknowledge that languages which are usually called "active" don't > >really work > >like this, but I don't know what else to call the Tokana case-marking pattern. > >Do you have any suggestions? > > You could call it by Dixon's term "Fluid-S". I think that active languages > are a subset of Fluid-S langs, though I think people tend to use the terms > as equivalents. Thus, Tokana, Georgian, Chickasaw, and Mohawk would all be > Fluid-S, but only Chickasaw and Mohawk are active (the latter moreso than > the former). As with any artificial division, I'm not exactly sure where > the line separating active from the rest should be drawn.
I guess I have absolutely no idea what you mean by "active", then, and how it differs from the kind of case-marking system found in Tokana. Please define! Your claim that Old English is an active language makes no sense to me, I'm afraid... As for Russian, other than the presence of some 'quirky case' subjects, and the fact that animacy affects the object case marking of masculine gender nouns, I fail to see how the Russian case-marking system is anything like Tokana. Matt.