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Re: passive ergative?

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Monday, May 14, 2007, 22:32

Jeff Rollin writes:
> A throwaway comment on a Wikipedia page about grammatical voice said > something like "ergative languages often have a passive voice as well > as an antipassive", but didn't give any examples. > > Does anyone know of an erg lang that has a passive in addition to (or > instead of) an antipassive, and what the difference between the two > is?
I will have to cite the same lang twice today :-). Kalaallisut is an example here: it is ergative and has both antipassive and passive constructions. The difference of normal vs. passive is basically the same as in English active vs. passive, namely a demotion of the A argument to an oblique argument. The verb becomes intransitive. The antipassive demotes the P argument: Abs/Erg Nom/Acc A P A P normal: X.ERG Y.ABS X.NOM Y.ACC passive: Y.ABS X.Oblique Y.NOM X.Oblique antipassive: X.ABS Y.Oblique **Henrik