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Re: Ergative?

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Thursday, September 27, 2001, 3:14
Matthew Kehrt wrote:
> > 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?
Sounds like this is a case which combines ergative and instrumental. Instrumental is a case used to indicate the instrument with which an action was done, like "sword" there. However, that term is not normally used for the case of "the boy" in the first sentence. I have a question, what's the interlinear of your two examples? Is it something like "Boy-(mystery case) kill-past jabberwock" and "Sword-(mystery case) boy-(mystery case) kill-past jabberwock"? What is the case used for Jabberwock in those sentences? Is it the same case as for "The jabberwock died"? If so, I'd call that absolutive, and your mystery case I would call either ergative or instrumental, either one works since it appears to fill both functions. -- "No just cause can be advanced by terror" ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42


Matthew Kehrt <matrix14@...>