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Re: Ergative?

From:Vasiliy Chernov <bc_@...>
Date:Friday, September 28, 2001, 15:08
On Thu, 27 Sep 2001 12:44:46 -0500, Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...> wrote:

>Quoting Vasiliy Chernov <bc_@...>: >> BTW, is there a simple criterion to distinguish the ergative >> construction from the passive one?
> I would >think that if a language has distinct forms for active and passive >(ignoring whether it is ergative), then that might constitute such >a criterion. For example, in Phaleran, a detransitive morpheme >explicitly distinguishes between passive, which has this, and the >active, which lacks it: > > ACTIVE: Ahrallu pû gethasyonti. > Governor.ERG boy-ABS see.TR.3SgPfRe.S > 'The Governor looked at the boy.' > PASSIVE: Pû ahrânto gethabronti. > boy-ABS Governor.INST see.DETR.3SgPfRe.S > 'The boy was looked at by the Governor.'
Sorry for another dull question, then... What's the difference? I can see here two morphological forms of the verb demanding different case marking for semantically same actant. Why do you call one case/construction ergative, and the other instrumental/passive, and not vice versa?
>(The valence-marking situation in Phaleran is complex; the suffix >-asyo- here marked TR(ansitive) might be considered an active suffix, >but it doesn't appear in every active construction.) > >So, you could artificially replace the ergative morphology with >nominative/accusative morphology (and you would see this with Phaleran >pronouns), but you'd still get distinct active and passive renderings. >So, I think the two notions are quite distinct.
Are you saying that sentences can be also construed nominatively, and only ergative (unlike instrumental) can/must be replaced with nominative? Basilius