Terrence Donnelly wrote: > > What I'd like to do is convert Thisbo to an inflected > ergative/absolute language, which I'm finding very > hard to wrap my head around. Below is what I've got so > far. > Can anyone see any obvious flaws in this plan? Am I > painting myself in a corner here? > > The Thisbo verb focuses on states and events, and has > as the > subject of the verb the entity in the sentence that > experiences the verb. There is no distinction between > transitive and intransitive verbs, since all verbs > have > only a subject. > > Noun cases > > Absolutive - for the subject of the verb; uses the > simple > verbal stem, except in the plural. > > Ergative - for the agent of the verb, what we would > call > the "subject" of a transitive verb; can only be used > with > animates. > > Genitive > Dative > Locative > Instrumental > > > Verb forms > > The only forms I've got so far are the Active and > Inchoative > aspects. Thisbo will have at least present, future and > past > versions of each. The verb also inflects for number > and > person. > (snip ex.sentences) > Verbs of state always describe the completed state. > When the Inchoative is used with verbs of quality or > state, it means "to become X". When used with verbs > of action, it means "to begin to X". > > Does this plan seem sustainable for a whole language? Since it's similar to my Kash (nom/acc I think), I'll say yes :-)) Only difference-- where you use Ergative, Kash would have the causative. (Actually, most causatives imply cause+inchoative-- John opened the door = John caused [the door to become open].) It's useful, also, that your Erg. sentences can be construed as passive voice; Kash has no passive per se. You might want to distinguish somehow between plain Inchoative states(object becomes XX), the door opened) vs. accidental/unwanted/sudden events (the door flew/burst open; my shirt got torn); that's another derivative form in Kash, the "accidental"-- it usually corresponds to the Engl. get-verbed ("paranoid passive"), but some of them have metaphoric changes in meaning, almost always pejorative. If interested, <toot own horn> check out some of the dictionary listings-- http://cinduworld.tripod.com/anakrangota.htm as well as the morphology and syntax pages.