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Re: Ergativity and verbs forms

From:Michael Poxon <m.poxon@...>
Date:Friday, June 18, 2004, 17:20
"I" would still be ergative (if your lang marked ergativity on pronouns,
which mine doesn't) since the verb in question is not "to be" but "eat".
Consider the alternative view of the basis of your sentence:-
"What do I do to the pizza? I eat it" or "The pizza is (etc) being eaten by
In both cases I am doing something active to something else (Eating the
----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug Dee" <AmateurLinguist@...>
To: <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2004 12:17 AM
Subject: Ergativity and verbs forms

> I've read that some of the Cetic languages have sentences roughly like
> > I am at eating the pizza (=I'm eating the pizza) > I am after eating the pizza (=I have eaten the pizza) > I am on eating the pizza (=I'm about to eat the pizza) > I am without eating the pizza (=I haven't eaten the pizza) > > My question is: suppose you had constructions like this in a language with > ergative case-marking. Would "I" be in the ergative case or the
absolutive? On
> the one hand, these sentences are all different tense/aspect versions of
> ate the pizza," so you might say they're notionally transitive & so "I"
> be ergative. On the other hand, you could say they're formally
> -- the verb "am" is intransitive, & it's followed by a preposition and
then a
> verbal noun/gerund/whatever you call it with its object. So "I" should be > absolutive, as the subject of an intranstive verb. > > Doug