|From:||The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, September 27, 2001, 18:56|
> From: Vasiliy Chernov
> On Thu, 27 Sep 2001 00:02:01 -0500, Thomas R. Wier
> <trwier@...> wrote:
> >There are actually some ergative languages where the ergative
> >marks agents of any kind, including those in passive sentences,
> >where we'd normally expect something called instrumental.
> BTW, is there a simple criterion to distinguish the ergative
> construction from the passive one?
I'm not sure I understand your question. Ergative constructions and Passive
constructions are not mutually exclusive.
Ergativity is the discriminatory application of case roles to the core
arguments of a predicate based on a formal parallel between the P-function
argument of a transitive predicate and the S-function argument of an
intransitive one. Passivity, on the other hand, is a voice operator used to
modify the valency or argument structure of a predicate. NPs are typically
marked for the former while VPs are typically marked for the latter. While
antipassive voice is more common among ergative languages, a number also
have passive forms (my conlang, amman iar, is ergative and has both passive
and antipassive voice operators).
David E. Bell
The Gray Wizard
elivas en ishron ordelmar cotronian
Wisdom begins in wonder.