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Re: A Survey

From:Arnt Richard Johansen <arj@...>
Date:Thursday, October 2, 2003, 14:29
On Mon, 29 Sep 2003, Rob Haden wrote:

> I'm curious to see everyone's answers to the following questions: > > 1. Does your language(s) distinguish between active ("X breaks Y"), middle > ("X breaks (apart)"), and passive ("X is broken (by Y)")?
Up until the day before yesterday it (Ciktal) didn't. But after reading your post, I came up with a system that I like, and makes sense.
> 2. If the answer to #1 was "yes," what method(s) does your language(s) use > to make some/all of the above distinctions?
Here goes. Since this is a very new system, I encourage everyone to poke holes in it. Ciktal is an accusative, subject pro-drop language. Both nominative and accusative cases are unmarked. There is no morphological way to distinguish active and passive verbs, but I have a rule that says: a) In active sentences, there cannot be a pronoun in the subject position b) In passive sentences, there must be a pronoun in the subject position I will illustrate this with the verb root /far-/ "kill". Active sentence, dropped subject: \t Dingt faros. \m ding -t far -os \g expert -DEF murder -3SG+PAST \p n -Det vt -3SG \f She[1] killed the expert. Passive sentence, subject not dropped: \t La dingt faros. \m la ding -t far -os \g he or she expert -DEF murder -3SG+PAST \p 3SG n -Det vt -3SG \f The expert was killed. Active sentence, dropped subject: \t La faros. \m la far -os \g he or she murder -3SG+PAST \p 3SG vt -3SG \f She was killed. Note that the passive interpretation of the last sentence is blocked, because dropped objects are not possible. The NP before the verb must therefore be the subject.
> 3. What method(s) does your language(s) use to distinguish between basic > nouns and verbs of the same root (i.e. "a hit" vs. "he hits")?
All roots are either nominal or verbal. I have a small collection of derivation suffixes and prefixes, though. At the last tally, no affixes could create verbs from nouns, though. [1] There is no category for gender in Ciktal, so I write this to avoid writing "he or she" everywhere. -- Arnt Richard Johansen På 1300-tallet kom tersen. Før og etter det var det meste bare rot, men så kom Schönberg og ordnet opp. Puh. Endelig litt system. Så klarte Arne Nordheim å rote det til igjen. -- Under Dusken 08/2001