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Re: Ergative?

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). Stay curious, David David E. Bell The Gray Wizard elivas en ishron ordelmar cotronian Wisdom begins in wonder.


Lars Henrik Mathiesen <thorinn@...>