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Re: Split nominative and Nik's new project

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Sunday, November 15, 1998, 19:19
On Sat, 14 Nov 1998, Nik Taylor wrote:

> Sally Caves wrote: > > Wasn't this giving the listener more information than > > was needed? There's a reason why you have to distinguish between A and P, > > because these two can coexist in the same clause; but what's the > > functional reason for distinguishing between A and S in a > > nominative/accusative language? (yours? definitely mine) > > Well, what's the use in marking gender on adjectives? Why shouldn't > languages give the listener more info than needed?
Well, my sentiments exactly. The above was what I had been challenged with, too, and I think I gave almost the exact same response as you did. But again, this is a functionalist concern, I think. How would the language have so developed this distinction? In your case, as you say, the function seems obvious, so long as you change the meaning of the verb with the case of the noun. But anyways, there
> is a reason for it. Teonaht, as you pointed out, also makes that > volitional/non-volitional in verbs, mine doesn't. So, by way of the > noun (and only via the noun), one can distinguish between "he killed him > (intentionally)" and "he killed him (accidentally)" or "she ran > (intentionally)" and "she ran ("accidentally")" - in that last pair, the > distinction would actually work out to be more of "she ran [to exercise > or for fun]" and "she ran [to escape the big scary monster that wanted > to eat him]". Of course, in practice, there would be certain verbs that > by their very nature would contain volitionality. For example, "murder" > in English is by definition volitional, and you wouldn't say "she > accidentally murdered him". There might be words like that which > couldn't take the volitional nominative or the non-volitional > nominative.
I have a host of sensory verbs that are "ambi-volitional," as I call them. Can't wait to get the Verbs up, but it's tedious and taking a lot of time. What you've got here, it seems, is truly two different cases, perhaps. But nevermind me... I so LOVE our term split-nominative that I don't want to muddy the waters. What's the name of this language? Sally ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Sally Caves Li fetil'aiba, dam hoja-le uen. volwin ly, vul inua aiba bronib. This leaf, the wind takes her. She's old, and born this year. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++