Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

German [was Re: Sketch of Germanech 4/4: Syntax]

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Sunday, December 9, 2001, 5:04
> > subjects of non-active intransitive verbs were in accusative case! > > Wow! Latin dialects did that!? I know some very few sentences in > German that do that, and they vanish soon in Modern German: > > Mich friert. (Modern: Ich friere.) > Mir ist Angst. (Modern: Ich habe Angst.)
Yeah. These are called unaccusative verbs, since under most current analyses, the surface <mich> starts out at as a compliment of the verb. The English word "freeze" operates in the same way: (1) The water froze. (Unaccusative) *It(exp) froze the water. (where "it" is expletive) The man froze the water. (=Causative) (2) The man laughed ("Unergative") *It(exp) laughed the man. *The comedian laughed the audience. One possible piece of evidence against this are those dialects of English where you can get an idiom chunk like this: (3) A cloud is coming up. (i.e., There will be a thunderstorm) It(exp) come up a cloud. I don't know if the following is grammatical: ?The sky came up a cloud. (=Causative) Or somesuch thing. ===================================================================== Thomas Wier <trwier@...> <> "...koruphàs hetéras hetére:isi prosápto:n / Dept. of Linguistics mú:tho:n mè: teléein atrapòn mían..." University of Chicago "To join together diverse peaks of thought / 1010 E. 59th Street and not complete one road that has no turn" Chicago, IL 60637 Empedocles, _On Nature_, on speculative thinkers