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On Sat, May 12, 2012 at 8:15 PM, Sam Stutter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I've been thinking about my "next" lang (I might never do anything about
> it, I might do something else entirely different, and nothing is set in
> stone) and I wanted to do something familiar but unfamiliar; hence I was
> thinking about an ergative-absolutive system.
>
> Then I wondered if a verb would conjugate for the absolutive noun rather
> than the subject noun (as it would in nominative-accusative); I haven't
> really studied a system like this in much detail, so this is pure
> extrapolation. Then I wondered if a verb might plausibly conjugate for the
> object of a transitive construction and the subject for intransitive or,
> more interestingly, not conjugate for intransitive constructions (having
> some sort of zero form) *in a nominative-accusative language*.
>
> He(nom) grows(agree-he)
> He(nom) sees(agree-her) her(acc)
>
> Under the situation where a language has no real case system (i.e.
> English, by and large), relying upon word order, could this still plausibly
> work? And where the word order functions as it would in a
> nominative-accusative system but the verb conjugates as if it were
> ergative-absolutive, how would the language be classified?
>
> She grows
> I sees she
>
> (easier to show in Spanish)
>
> ella crece
> yo ve ella


First thought - the genus for past particles that we've discussed not long
ago. Consider a "pig Spanish":

Ella esta vista por el.

Here you have an agreement of the past particle with the pronoun. Now you
1) make it a rule for all tenses
2) drop out the "copula" somehow, for instance, by making it into a
(possibly zero) prefix
so that there occurs a flip from nominative/accusative to
ergative/absolutive system, and you have at least an gender agreement of
the verb in gender. I don't think it would be much harder to make an
agreement in person, probably even an agreement of the verb with the noun
in _case_.

Though this is only my own speculation, I don't know any real examples.


> Sam Stutter
> [log in to unmask]
> "No e na'l cu barri"
>

Kolya