Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: THEORY: Active case-marking natlangs

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg.rhiemeier@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 13, 2001, 22:54
J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...> writes:

> The proper generalisation for Tokana seems to be that it is active (a la > Smith-Rosta), but with quasi-semantic (i.e., 'fluid') case-marking of the > S/A. > More explicitly, Tokana has an active alignment (in Marcus's sense, > where alignment > of grammatical relations is in principle separable from case-marking), > and within > that active alignment, the case-marking of the S/A function is partially > dependent on animacy/volitionality and definiteness: > > Grammatical Case-marking > relation > > P/O absolutive > > S/A nominative (if definite and volitional) > ablative (if indefinite and/or animate non-volitional) > instrumental (if inanimate)
This is pretty much similar to how I interpret the case marking in Nur-ellen. It distinguishes S/A from P/O by case marking, and within the active alignment, S/A arguments receive different cases dependent on animacy and volition: Relation Animacy Degree of volition Case S/A animate volitional agentive S/A animate accidental dative S/A animate under external force instrumental "S/A" inanimate --- instrumental P/O any --- objective Technically, an S/A must always be animate; the inanimate instrumental "subject" is actually an oblique complement on an impersonal sentence (i.e. one where the S/A slot is left empty). Jörg.