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CONLANG Digest - 18 Feb 2004 to 19 Feb 2004 (#2004-49)

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Friday, February 20, 2004, 20:05
> > Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 00:31:09 -0600 > From: "Thomas R. Wier" <trwier@...> > Subject: Re: THEORY: unergative > > > This formation is a peculiarity of English (and a few other langs, > > perhaps), yes? What's the 'there' doing? > > Yes, this is a test for unaccusativity in English. There are variety > of other tests. (The most famous work on unaccusatives seems to > come from Italian and other Romance languages.)
I once downloaded a paper, "Split intransitivity (and Unaccusativity) in Italian (and dialectal variations)" by Barbara Rosario about it. Google should help you find it. Italian shows split intransitivity: intransitive verbs behave either unaccusatively or unergatively. One of the most striking features is the selection of the auxiliary verb. Italian has two auxiliaries, _essere_ "to be" and _avere_ "to have". Unaccusative verbs select _essere_, unergative verbs opt for _avere_: Leo è arrivato Leo is arrived but: Lia ha parlato a lungo Lia has spoken long Luca