|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
> >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
David E. Bell
The Gray Wizard
elivas en ishron ordelmar cotronian
Wisdom begins in wonder.