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On Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 12:02 AM, Tim Smith <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Very interesting.  This pretty much agrees with some stuff I've read elsewhere, but it's good to see it confirmed by a native speaker.  But I do wonder about one thing: with a transitive verb, how do you tell the subject from the object, if they aren't distinguished by word order as in written French (assuming that both arguments are third person, and have the same gender and number, so the agreement prefixes (or proclitic pronouns, or whatever you choose to call them) won't disambiguate them)?

Could you give some examples? I can't think of any off the top of my
head and without examples I'm actually quite confused as to what
you're asking.

> I realize that in the majority of cases, the context and/or the semantics of the nouns themselves will be such that only one of the two grammatically possible interpretations makes sense, but I would think that there must be a fairly large residuum of situations where that doesn't work.
>
> - Tim
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>