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Re: Tirelat's newly found activeness (was: Re: TRANS: something slightly more deep)

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 8, 2000, 2:44
On Mon, 7 Feb 2000 16:39:22 +0100, daniel andreasson
<daniel.andreasson@...> wrote:

>Anyway. Have you written anything else about this change in Tirelat? >On your website, it's still NOM and ACC.
Well, that's an easy change to make. Done. But I really need to play around more with Tirelat morphology and syntax before I get it into a shape that I can document on the web site without having to spend a lot of time updating and maintaining it, since it's still evolving.
>And what about the syntax? Will it still be accusative (which I believe >it is) or will you make it active, which iirc is very rare? That would >be really cool imho.
Syntax is also active, if that means what I think it does: the subject of an intransitive verb precedes it if it is an agent, and follows it if it is a patient. se faz vesti-zi- n AGE snow dance-IMPF-NARR The snow is dancing. (narrative) n'uri-s me riva blue- DIR PAT sky The sky is blue. (direct evidential, i.e., I have seen it.) Note that "snow" is grammatically an "agent" in the first sentence since "vesti" is a verb that takes an agent, even though the "dancing" of the snow is really a consequence of air currents moving the snowflakes around and not a purposeful action of the snow. Also, some intransitive verbs like "vesti" may take two "subjects", an agent and what I call a "co-agent", which usually takes the place of the patient. se Djan-Danbar vesti-n ke yul AGE John-Dunbar dance-NARR CO-AGE wolf John Dunbar dances with wolves. alternatively: "ke yul se Djan-Danbar vestin". Note: y = voiced velar fricative. Think of it as a Greek gamma.
>Daniel Andreasson > >PS. I think Robert D. Van Valin Jr's article "Semantic Parameters of >Split Intransitivity" might be a good read. If you haven't already...
I haven't seen that. Is that an article in a magazine, or is it available online somewhere? -- languages of Kolagia---> +---<>--- Thryomanes /"If all Printers were determin'd not to print any (Herman Miller) / thing till they were sure it would offend no body, moc.oi @ rellimh <-/ there would be very little printed." -Ben Franklin