David Peterson wrote:

Rodlox wrote:

<<what is a trigger language? are there language groups/families in
> > triggers are not found? what purpose do triggers serve?>>

>There's no simple way to explain this, because there's no simple
answer.   Triggers are things found in languages like Tagalog, and
other languages like Tagalog, and they don't work in a cut-and-dry
way. >

I also replied (directly, though I meant it for the list) to Rodlox, saying
much the same things...I think.... Anyway your explanation is very good.

>  (In fact, Matt Pearson doesn't seem to think that there are
any triggers at all, if I understood that paper correctly [which I
probably didn't].)>

What's the ref. on that paper? Is it available online? (Reply privately to
avoid quota)

Although so many of the non-Philippine languages have lost so much of the
morphology and become more active/passive, so to speak, you can still get
glimpses of the system. It takes some gymnastics, but it can be shown to
still be somewhat operative in Malay/Indonesian, and I'm sure in Malegasy
(Matt's field, IIRC).

Leonard Bloomfield, way back in the 20s or 30s, did an extensive study of
Tagalog-- probably one of the first in English.  I read it so long ago I've
forgotten everything; but for someone interested, it might be worthwhile to
see how he handled it from his Structuralist POV.

I also mentioned the Tsou (Formosan) examples I posted some time back.
(Search for _Tsou_ in the archive.)