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Re: Evolution of Applicatives (+ passive/antipassive question)

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Friday, November 12, 2004, 4:16
From:    Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
> BTW, I have antipassive voice, too, demoting an agent to patient. I > defined that for passive voice, the original agent may be supplied as > a causative adjunct. In antipassive voice, I defined that the > original patient may be supplied with a serial verb construction (SVC) > with the word 'to do' + patient. Is that feasible? Example:
My first comment would be to say that there is already a relatively well-defined term "antipassive", which denotes the situation where a verb intransitivizes, demoting the patient to an oblique and keeping the agent (the opposite of the passive, where the agent is demoted and the patient becomes subject). "John kicked at the ball" would approximate an antipassivize construction (except that here the ball could then passivize, so it's not a true antipassive).
> Normal: > drink milk.PAT John.AGT > 'John drinks milk.' > > Passive: > John.CAU drink.PASS milk.AGT > 'Milk is drunken by John.' > > Antipassive: > drink.ANTIP John.PAT do.SVC milk.PAT > 'John's drinking is done to the milk.' > > Is this feasible?
Although this kind of construction is clearly not an antipassive in the sense normally used for that term, it is an interesting question what to call it. Because it seems biclausal, I would say this is more of a pseudocleft construction (without the wh- phrase), as your gloss seems to focus on the action rather than the participants in the action. But how are obliques marked in this language? That would be relevant for the analysis. Is the language rigidly VSO? ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637