Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Ergative?

From:The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>
Date:Friday, September 28, 2001, 17:41
> From: Vasiliy Chernov > > On Fri, 28 Sep 2001 09:30:15 -0000, Lars Henrik Mathiesen > <thorinn@...> > wrote: > [...] > >If you're just presented with one of these constructions, and not > >allowed to check what other constructions the language has, how do you > >distinguish between passive and ergative? (And you don't know that the > >verb is marked for passive if you don't have the unmarked form). > > As I argued in one of my previous posts, you still have to tell which one > is ergative and which one is passive. I think what is *morphologically* > marked is an unrelated question (also hard to answer, sometimes). > > >Well, in some cases, you can tell which of the noun phrases it is that > >behaves as a grammatical subject -- if it's the patient, you might be > >looking at a passive, if it's the agent, it might be ergative. > > Yes, I though, too, that the distinction may be all in subjecthood (-ness? > -ship? -likeness?).
I think this is a slippery slope. Subjecthood (-ness? -ship? -likeness?) can be an ill-defined grammatical relation in ergative languages since it is traditionally defined in accusative terms (S=A) rather than ergative terms (S=P) Stay curious, David David E. Bell The Gray Wizard elivas en ishron ordelmar cotronian Wisdom begins in wonder.