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Re: More on Lyanjen verbs

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg.rhiemeier@...>
Date:Thursday, September 28, 2000, 23:19
Matt McLauchlin wrote:

> OK then, German. (The rationale could be this very problem! I.e. omitting > the subject turns it into a passivesque construction. Ger skic clairan = She > breaks the window. Skic clairan = The window gets broken.
Up to here, the matter closely parallels the ways of Nur-ellen (my conlang). The examples translate to He rist i hent. She break the window "She breaks the window." and Rist i hent. break the window "The window gets broken." Literally, "[Someone] breaks the window." The forms are the same, only the subject is missing.
> (Clairan skic = > The window breaks.)
Is there any change of meaning resulting from the reversion of word order? Just another way to say the same thing. Nur-ellen has free word order, such that this could be translated as _I hent rist_, with the same meaning as _Rist i hent_. Note that _hent_ is still in the objective case - it cannot do otherwise because it is inanimate. A window cannot break out of itself, it requires an external impulse to break. The transitive verb "to break" and the intransitive verb "to break" = "to get broken" are the same lexeme in Nur-ellen: the transitive verb _rist_. As with any transitive verb, the agent (subject) can be omitted in the sentence. Such zero-agent sentences are what in Nur-ellen is used instead of the non-existing passive.
> Too, how about a > >complete paradigm of a verb in the present tense, so we can see what it > >looks like? > > Present simple/progressive. > > First conjugation (verbs ending in an unstressed monophthongal vowel): > ebnu (to come) (pronouns are in nominative) > > ia ebnu iaja ebnusa > na ebnub bua ebnuja > ga ebn gaja ebnuga > > Participle: ebnand > > Second conjugation (all other verbs) > teuc (to love) (pronouns are in ergative) > > iar teuca iaja teucas > nar teucab bua teucaj > ga teuc gaja teucag
So if I understand correctly, with some verbs nom/acc marking is used and with other erg/abs marking? Does each noun and pronoun have four distinct core cases, namely nominative, accusative, ergative and absolutive, or am I completely off the track here? Please enlighten me. Share and enjoy, Jörg.