On Fri, 21 Apr 2006 15:00:57 +0200, Benct Philip Jonsson <[log in to unmask]> 

>Eldin wrote:
> > These languages are a subset of the alignment-type called
> > participant is the agent or the patient.
>That makes sense.  I'll introduce hierarchical word order in
>Kijeb, lest the inverse marking seem somewhat redundant.
>However Kijeb also has nom/acc case marking; I'm considering
>to restrict the marked accusative to animates.
> > (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.)
>That also makes sense, according to how I understand
>the whole animacy hierarchy business.  That's also
>why I'ld consider not to mark the accusative on
>inanimates: they'ld be patients by default, so to speak.
>It also would help to make the introduction of an
>ergative system in later stages of the language more

That would be more like a Split-Ergative alignment, and less like a 
Hierarchical alignment.

The same hierarchy is involved in both types of alignment; but it is used 
differently in the Hierarchical system from the Split-Ergative system.

>AFA I understand from Blake's book this is typical of
>Algonquinian languages.  The question is if it is *so*
>typically Algonquinian that it is unrealistic in a
>non-Algonquinian language?  

I believe there are Meso-American and South-American languages, thousands 
of miles away from Canada, that have these systems, too.

>Though Kijeb is spoken in
>another universe/timeline, so perhaps it doesn't matter.
>BTW would it be unrealistic for the direct voice to
>be unmarked?

Not at all; IMO that woud be _realistic_.  The Direct Voice expresses the 
expected situation (the more animate participant is the Agent, the less 
animate participant is the Patient); the Inverse Voice expresses the 
_unexpected_ situation, so it should be "marked".

>What about two *in*animate "third person" participants,
>unlikely as it may seem, though you may say "the stone
>hit the rock"...?

I wondered about that too.  The professionals who write about such things, 
however, seem to think the need for obviation is likelier to arise with two 
animate third persons than with two inanimate third persons.

In any case, clearly, inanimate third persons are less likely to be 
the "protagonists" of extended portions of discourse than animate third 

Also, perhaps, transitive predications involving two inanimates, are likely 
to be the sort of thing where it doesn't matter which one is called 
the "Agent" and which one is called the "Patient".

>Kijeb as it now is has no obviative pronouns, but it has a
>distinction between proximate--medial--distal pronouns and
>local adverbs which could be used in that function.

"Proximative" has nothing to do with "proximal".
"Proximative" is merely the opposite of "obviative".
"Obviative" comes from the verb "obviate"; some means is needed to obviate 
the confusion over which of two 3rd person animate participants is agent, 
and which is patient.


>I envisage Kijeb as something of a mixture, with both
>Hierarchical word order and verb marking, as well as nom/acc
>marking for animates, as well as Split-S/Fluid-S, and the
>daughter languages (perhaps not all of them) developing
>split ergative marking.  Perhaps it is altogether
>unrealistic, or at least highly redundant, to have it all in
>the same bag!

Perhaps. ;-)