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Re: Reflexive & Reciprocal Marked on the Verb

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 20:10
>I am collaborating on an agglutinating conlang with polypersonal agreement >(verbs agree with their Subject; with their Primary-or-Direct Object if
there is
>one; and sometimes with their Secondary-or-Indirect Object if there is one.) > >In this 'lang the verb's agreement-markers indicate the semantic role of the >Subject and the Direct Object. > >One thing it can indicate is that the Subject, and/or the Object, is both the >Agent and the Patient of the clause. > >Thus, if the clause is reflexive or reciprocal, no additional marking is
needed to
>establish that it must be EITHER reflexive OR reciprocal. > >However, this system can't tell "reflexive" apart from "reciprocal".
This seems to be a problem I might face too. My (currently nameless) loglang project has similar detail'd argument marking, except by means of multiple cases. Two observations: the singular is unambiguous; and in plurals involving more than two, there's a possibility for yet finer distinctions, eg. pairwise / circular / communal reciprocity (tho I can't think of a verb which would allow distinguishing the latter two senses in a non-contrived way; most seem to be suited just for one or the another). Verbal voice works here too to resolve at least the basic situation, but I aim for no voice marking whatsoever. Focusing on number seems to provide another solution. Suppose I had a collectiv form distinct from a regular plural (it happens I alreddy have this same distinction with conjunction); then I could simply proceed in any possible case as in "the cattle takes care of itself" (collectiv reciprocal) vs. "the cows take care of themselves" (plural reflexiv). John Vertical