Re: THEORY: Non-nom Subj & Nom Obj -- Quirky OVS Word Order Or Quirky Case?
|From:||Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, August 9, 2005, 20:14|
Markus Miekk-oja wrote:
> >From: Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
> >Reply-To: Constructed Languages List <CONLANG@...>
> >To: CONLANG@listserv.brown.edu
> >Subject: Re: THEORY: Non-nom Subj & Nom Obj -- Quirky OVS Word Order Or
> >Quirky Case?
> >Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2005 16:24:38 +0200
> >Henrik Theiling wrote:
> > > Hi!
> > >
> > > [...]
> > >
> > > Anyway, using some tests, you can check that the status of the
> > > nominative object is different from a nominative subject, namely by
> > > checking whether it can be referred back to in a coordinated clause
> > > from an ellipsis. IIRC, it was Markus who mentioned this a few days
> > > ago. Usually:
> > >
> > > a) Ich trinke Bier und  esse Wurst
> > > NOM ACC NOM ACC.
> > > I drink beer and  eat sausage
> > > 'I'm drinking beer and [I] am eating sausage.'
> > >
> > > (Gap marked with .)
> >This kind of test fails in languages with an ergative or split-S
> >pivot. In Dyirbal, for instance, which has an ergative pivot,
> >the sentence `The child threw the ball and  fell' would mean
> >`The child threw the ball and [the ball] fell'. (ObConlang:
> >The same in Old Albic, which has a fluid-S pivot.)
> 1. Mutatis mutandis for syntactically ergative langs it'd work. (Of course,
> by the time mutandis has been mutatis it tests whether something is the
> absolutive-ish argument, if I may violate Latin in a very bad manner).
> 2. Kroeger and some others claim that in syntactically ergative languages,
> the object and intransitive subject actually are the subject (remember to
> divorce the term subject from any connotations other than those that are
> relevant from a syntactical p.o.v.). I don't know how far this has been
> proven, but ... in that case, it would still work for langs with an ergative
True. So it is perhaps not right to say that such a test "fails"
in a language with a non-nominative pivot; it is rather that the
notion of "subject" is by far not as certain as one may assume
at first glance, but pretty much a matter of definition.