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In a message dated 1/17/03 10:06:58 AM, [log in to unmask] writes:
>Christophe a écrit:
>
>> I didn't know this name! D'you know an example of tripartite language?
>
>You'd think I would, wouldn't you? But unfortunately I don't. :P I'm sure
>someone on this list can come up with a few examples though.

I think it is the case that most languages that are tripartite are only
partially so. I see a reference though to "a group of Australian Aboriginal
languages spoken in south-east Queensland which make three-way distinctions
for A, S, and P across all NPs." There's also a partially tri. Iranian
language, Yazgulyam, and others among Australian and Papuan langs.

Yimas, a Papuan language, is partially tripartite, and partially accusative,
and partially ergative! Here's an example of it being tripartite:

ama-wa-t
1SG.S-go-PERF
'I went.'

pu-ka-tay
3PL.O-1SG.A-see
'I saw them.'

pu-Na-tay
3PL.A-1SG.O-see
'They saw me.'

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Josh Roth