Re: Request for feedback on the Vilani verb
|From:||Robert Eaglestone <downport@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, March 18, 2004, 23:25|
Q: "Why is agency marked?"
Thank you for a prompt reply. I will try to
answer your question.
One possible answer, which I am unsure about, is
that Vilani is an ergative language. Except I'm
not sure what that implies.
One point I think you hit upon is in fact true:
personal names often drop the ergative case marker,
especially where the object is inanimate or
I think agency is marked because of topicalization;
that is, the sentence structure doesn't have to be
V-A-P. If a Vilani speaker wanted to put the agent
in a passive role, the patient would come first in
the sentence. For example:
Le-s-khugash liraam-gim Eneri.
him-it-hit vehicle Eneri
"A vehicle hit Eneri."
Eneri leskhugash liraamgim.
"Eneri (as opposed to someone else)
was hit by a vehicle."
Liraamgim leskhugash Eneri.
"The vehicle (in question) hit Eneri."
There actually is a passive construction, but it's
more like a 'cosmic helplessness'.
Again, thanks for your reply.