On 27 Jun 02, at 16:41, Nik Taylor wrote:

> You don't even have to go outside of PIE.  Spanish has things like "A
> Juan le gustan los perros" (Juan likes dogs), where "los perros" is the
> gramatical subject, and "A Juan" the gramatical (indirect) object.  And
> yet, strangely enough, the word order is as if _Juan_ were the subject
> and _Los perros_ the object!  That, to me, has always seemed the
> strangest part of that construction.  If it were *"Los perros le gustan
> a Juan" it wouldn't be that odd, but the conflict between order and
> "case" is bizarre.  :-)

Wouldn't that have to be "Los perros gustan a Juan", without the "le"?
As I understand it, the "le" is to mark the subject-object reversal and
wouldn't be required if the order is the normal one.

ObConlang: A similar construction occurs in Verdurian: if subject and
object are swapped, such as for emphasis, then the accusative personal
pronoun can be inserted before the noun to distinguish. This is
especially handy since nominative and accusative have the same form in
the most common masculine and feminine declensions.

For example:

    Abend levatre Susana.
    Abend(nom) kissed Susana(acc)

    Susana ilat levatre Abend.
    Susana(acc) her(acc) kissed Abend(nom)


    Ihano levatre Rahela.
    Ihano(nom) kissed Raheli(acc)

    Rahela [ilat] levatre Ihano.
    Raheli(acc) [her(acc)](optional) kissed Ihano(nom)

In the second case, the "ilat" is optional since the nominative and
accusative forms are different (Ihano/Ihanam, Raheli/Rahela).

The pronoun is also optional for first and second person subjects:

    Levatru Susana.
    I-kissed Susana(acc).

    Susana [ilat] levatru.
    Susana(acc) [her(acc)] I-kissed.

since "Susana" cannot be the subject of "levatru", with its first-
person singular ending.

(This reversal is sometimes used in situations where other languages
might use the passive voice, which Verdurian lacks as a morphological

Philip Newton <[log in to unmask]>