Re: Glyphica Arcana Distinctions (cases?)
|From:||Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, December 27, 2005, 17:49|
Jefferson Wilson wrote:
> Anyway, based on some earlier comments I've been considering
> revising the subject/object distinction. I'd like to know what
> the difference is between subject/object and agent/patient.
"Subject" and "object" are syntactic notions which do not apply
well to some languages. In the examples:
(1) The child threw the ball.
(2) The child sang.
(3) The ball fell.
the subjects are "the child", "the child" and "the ball",
"Agent" and "patient" are *semantic* roles. An agent is an
entity which performs an action, a patient is one which
undergoes an event. In (1) and (2), "the child" is the agent.
In (3), there is *no* agent - "the ball" is subject but not
agent. In (1) and (3), "the ball" is the patient; (2) does
not involve a patient.
> other distinctions like this can people tell me about? One thing
> I'm considering in particular is a distinction between volitional
> (people) and non-volitional (rocks) subjects, though I'm not
> exactly sure where to draw the line between the two.
You may want to look at the degrees of volition in my conlang
Old Albic, a language which distinguishes between agent and
patient rather than subject and object. I posted the grammar
last year here, it can be easily accessed via the page
Look for "Case" under "Nominal Morphology" and for "Degrees of
volition" under "Syntax".
(Since then, I have changed some minor details, but these changes
only concern the phonetic shape of some morphemes; the structure
of the language has remained the same.)