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From: "Eldin Raigmore" <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 7:42 PM

> These languages are a subset of the alignment-type called
> "hierarchical
> alignment". In such languages, the "word"-order of the
> clause and the
> agreement marking on the verb always puts that participant
> which is highest
> in the hierarchy first, regardless of whether it is the
> agent or the
> patient.  Thus some kind of "voice" marking on the verb is
> necessary to
> indicate whether this agreed-with participant is the agent
> or the patient.
>
> (The hierarchy in question is usually one of agent-potency
> (that is,
> potentiality to be an agent), as opposed to
> topic-worthiness, according to
> M.H.Klaiman.)

Sounds a little like what I imagined to do with Ukele once I
put more work into it, the same goes for Tarsyanian. Both
languages have split-systems: Tarsyanian has got an agentive
(= split-S) alignment, but verbs are supposed to have
grammaticalized participant roles, at least the most common
ones. You need voice to adjust things, since you have a mix
between nom/acc and abs/erg. Ukele is similar in that it has
a class system similar to Bantu languages which is based on
agent-potency: Only gods, environmental forces, feelings,
abstracta (Class I), humans (Class II) and animals (Class
III) are agentive enough to have a nom/acc morphology, all
others (Classes IV-VII, i.e. plants, food, everyday
objects/tools, other inanimate things) have an abs/erg
morphology. This all only goes for verbal agreement, though,
since nouns do not have overt case marking, i.e. the case
endings are null-morphemes. For all agentives goes
furthermore the topic-worthiness in that 1p > 2p > 3p. So
again, you need the passive voice to adjust the sentence,
although I haven't yet figured out how. I think I'll need
both, a passive and an antipassive voice.

Yours,
Carsten

--
"Miranayam kepauarą naranoaris." (Kalvin nay Hobbes)
Tingraena, Yangtim 18, 2315, ea 27:58:03 pd