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Re: Mediopassive/labile verbs; was: very confused - syntax question

From:Irina Rempt-Drijfhout <ira@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 6, 1999, 21:38
On Tue, 6 Jul 1999, Sally Caves wrote:

> Lars Henrik Mathiesen wrote:
> > Voice normally means some type of morphological marking or analytical > > construction that shows whether the subject is agent or patient or > > both. > > And thus "middle" would mean that the subject is both? This is where I > have missed the point. "I wash" is also "me wash"? That makes perfect > sense.
To me as well. Valdyan does this with the reflexive: obvious verbs like _le cyla_ "to wash", _le grela_ "to shave", but also less obvious ones like _le rada_ "to make up one's mind" (literally "to swear to oneself"), _le tisa_ "to do the right thing" (literally "to serve oneself"), _le loda_ "to presume" (literally "to favour oneself"). It's also possible, of course, to wash or shave someone else, but swearing to someone else, serving someone else, and even favouring someone else are very different things than their reflexive counterparts. Many verbs of motion also take this construction: _le dena_ "to go" ("to put oneself somewhere"), _le fula_ "to set out, to leave" ("to take oneself away"), _le mosta_ "to come" ("to get oneself"), _le mura_ "to lie down" ("to push oneself over, to lay oneself down" from _mur_ "flat, supine"). _Le_ is a generic *object* pronoun that resumes the *subject* of the main clause; when it's in the main clause itself, it's reflexive: Ferin na le grelat Ferin NEG RFL shaves "Ferin doesn't shave" (i.e. either he has a beard or he is too young to shave) Radan na learne le grelat Radan NEG himself RFL shaves "Radan doesn't shave himself" (i.e. someone else shaves him) and when it's in a subordinate clause it's resumptive: Semte rastinan dilat alea cul le dilayt puret gifted-person people treats all like RES they-treat wants-irr "A gifted person treats all people as he would want them to treat him" Here _le_ goes all the way back to _semte_, and it can't be called "reflexive" though it clearly refers to the subject of the main clause. This is the example I was looking for earlier, Jennifer, but it doesn't seen to illustrate the point I was trying to make then, though it illustrates the point I'm trying to make now: that Valdyan uses the reflexive as a kind of middle voice, and I strongly suspect that when I find a word for "win a prize" it will be reflexive. Irina Varsinen an laynynay, saraz no arlet rastynay. (myself) (English) (Nederlands)