H. S. Teoh sikyal: > On Wed, Aug 06, 2003 at 12:34:00PM -0700, JS Bangs wrote: > [snip] > > 1) I eat food. > > 2) I run. > > 3) I fall. > > > > In most general terms: > > > > An accusative language is one in which "I" in all three sentences is > > marked the same (nominative), while "food" is marked differently > > (accusative). > > > > An ergative language is one in which "food" from (1) and "I" from (2) and > > (3) are marked the same (absolutive), while "I" from (1) is marked > > differently (ergative). > > > > An active language is one in which "I" from (1) and (2) is marked the same > > (agentive), while "food" and "I" from (3) are marked the same > > (patientive). This is subject to a lot of language-specific variation, > > though, so beware. > [snip] > > Bizarre... according to these three specific examples, Ebisedian would > qualify as an ergative language: for (1), you'd have "I(rcp) eat > food(cvy)"; for (2), you'd have "I(cvy) run", for (3), you have "I(cvy) > fall". > > But this is merely a case of false analogy; if another verb were used in > (1), say "I looked at the food", then the nouns would be marked "I(org) > look food(rcp)". Likewise, if the verb in (2) is something like "to > dream", you'd have "I(org) dream". Right. My test wasn't intended to be exhaustive--it was intended to provide a quick-and-dirty litmus test that would work for most languages in each category. It obviously doesn't say anything useful about Ebisedan, Indonesian, Chinese, or any LOUS's. -- Jesse S. Bangs [log in to unmask] http://students.washington.edu/jaspax/ http://students.washington.edu/jaspax/blog Jesus asked them, "Who do you say that I am?" And they answered, "You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our interpersonal relationship." And Jesus said, "What?"