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Re: Ergative?

From:Michael Poxon <m.poxon@...>
Date:Thursday, September 27, 2001, 16:38
Dear Matthew,
What you've got there is usually referred to as the instrumental case. If
you think about it, the boy performs the action (i.e., actor of a transitive
verb) so is in the Ergative case if you have one. The sword is what he
performs the action with, or in other words is the instrument, so takes the
instrumental case. Since we don't have either of these cases in English, it
sometimes takes a bit of thinking as to which one(s) to use!
Mike Poxon.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Matthew Kehrt" <matrix14@...>
To: <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2001 3:21 AM
Subject: Ergative?

> I have a case in my lang, Eviendadhail, which I used to think was > ergative, but, after reading more about ergativity, I'm now unsure. > This case indicates the thing used to perform the action. For example, > I could say, without using this case: > > Éyaverog silen negeth. > > which is: > > The boy killed the jabberwock. > > Or, I could say: > > Ilelés éyaverog silen negeth. > > which is: > > The boy killed the jabberwock with a sword. > > This case indicates the sword, that is, the tool used to perform the > verb. Does anyone know what this is called, if anything? > > -M