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CONLANG  September 2003, Week 5

CONLANG September 2003, Week 5

Subject:

Re: A Survey

From:

Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 30 Sep 2003 00:55:34 -0400

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text/plain

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Rob Haden wrote:


> I'm curious to see everyone's answers to the following questions:
>
> 1. Does your language(s) distinguish between active ("X breaks Y"), middle
> ("X breaks (apart)"), and passive ("X is broken (by Y)")?
>
> 2. If the answer to #1 was "yes," what method(s) does your language(s) use
> to make some/all of the above distinctions?

Kash distinguishes what you call active and middle, but calls them causative
and inchoative.  They are derivations from the basic root '(be) broken'.
There is no passive, but fronted objects can be _translated_ as a passive.

çupuna yamatra 'the window is broken'
çupuna yaçumatra 'the window broke/ ~ is becoming broken'
ana yarumatra çupuna 'the child broke the window'
çupuna yarumatra ana-- the same, or 'the window was broken by the child'

There is also the "accidental form" of the verb, usually translated as
"get/got broken"; it's possible to express an agent (with genitive case or a
prep.phrase) but usually isn't necessary:  çupuna cakamatra (anayi) 'the
window got broken (by the child)'

The meanings of derived forms are not always as clearly related to the base
as they are in this particular example.
>
> 3. What method(s) does your language(s) use to distinguish between basic
> nouns and verbs of the same root (i.e. "a hit" vs. "he hits")?

Usually the noun is a derivative of the verb. A few verbs/nouns have
identical forms.  It's difficult to form a verb from a basic noun.

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