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Phaleran update: switch-reference causatives; comparatives; inherently plural verbs

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Friday, December 14, 2001, 10:11
Last summer sometime I sent out a flurry of posts on voice
constructions in Phaleran, including things like active,
passive, antipassive, and middle.  'Middle' forms all shared
the same morphological marking -mi- on the verb, but differed in
the number of noun phrase arguments according to whether they
had reflexive, reciprocative or pure 'middle' constructions.
The switch-reference here can be seen as another distinct type of
middle which takes a specific marking for a change of subject
in causatives:

(1) Causative middle (same-subject):
    Syaseillu gethaþnuminni
    PL.child  see.CAUS.MID.3PlProxPfRe.S
    'The children caused themselves to look at themselves'

(2) Causative middle (different subject)
    Syaseillu gethaþnulminni
    'The children caused him/her/it/them to see/look
    at himself/herself/itself/themselves'

This could thus be seen as a kind of internal object agreement
on the verb, except only that the patient of the causing is also
the subject of its own action.  Phaleran has no other (known)
switch-reference markers like this, which is why it is termed the
'switch-reference causative'.


When you're overtly comparing the qualities of two or
more (sets of) things in Phaleran, the typical order is
the following:  [topic] [standard] [marker] [quality].

   Ahr'         ai  tuthuran     phrâstyumenuo     er|a
   governor.ABS and PL.janissary council-of-20.DAT than
   dulmi sikârinnen
   more  be.ruthless.INTR.3SgPfRe.Q

  'The Governor and his janissaries are more ruthless
   than (even) the Council of Twenty, they say.'

_er|a_ (where <r|> marks a uvular trill) functions as a
postposition, and always takes dative case.

Inherently plural verbs

In Phaleran society, some social practices are ritually
required to be carried out by certain numbers of participants
at a given time.  Some of these actions have been grammaticalized
into the language by reduplication on the verb, while others
are lexical:

(1) tþegasyonti               ahrâs
    ritually-bow.TR.3SgPfRe.S master.BEN
    'He is ritually bowing for his master'

(2) Reduplication:
    tetþegasyonni                     eltrîs
    RED.ritually-bow.TR.3PlProxPfRe.S superior.BEN
    'Two [people] are ritually bowing for their superior'

(3) r|aNkarinti
    'He is making a ritual ablution before seeing his lord'

(4) Lexical verb:
    'Four [people] are making ritual ablutions before seeing
     their lord'

Thomas Wier <trwier@...> <>

             "...koruphàs hetéras hetére:isi prosápto:n /
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