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On 2018/04/21 19:47, Logan Kearsley wrote:
>
> The nominative is used for both subjects and direct objects--it's a
> fusion of the Proto-Celi ergative and absolutive cases, and the
> language retains ergative alignment in its choice of syntactic pivots.
>
Someone else understands syntactic pivots! (*˘︶˘*).。.:*♡


Emihtazuu has a complex case system with a whole lot going on.

Cases are (mostly) divisible into 'core' or 'basic' cases and 'locative' 
cases (not 'oblique' since some basic cases can supply oblique 
arguments). The basic cases are these:

Absolutive
Ergative
Genitive A
Genitive B
Benefactive
(Vocative)

Absolutive and ergative are pretty straightforward.

Vocative is formally identical with the ergative; which suggests that 
possibly /waaaay/ back in pre-proto-language times, the ergative and 
vocative were both repurposed out of a focus marker or something.

Genitive A is the older genitive, which has been replaced in its core 
possession function but retains a few other functions. It marks the 
non-gapped core argument of relative clauses, and is used contrastively 
with Genitive B in predicated possession constructions.

Genitive B is newer genitive, derived from a benefactive. It marks 
possession, but retains benefactive functions as well, most notably 
marking the experiencer with perception verbs (which is actually the 
syntactic pivot in those constructions). It contrasts with Genitive A in 
predicated possession constructions - /it is 1sg-GENA/ means 'it is mine 
(under my ownership somehow)'; while /it is 1sg-GENB/ means 'it is for 
me (the one intended for my use, whether or not I possess it at all)'.

The actual benefactive has been recently innovated to replace Genitive 
B's core benefactive function '[verb] for someone]'.


There is a wide range of locative cases - proto-Sannamiri had something 
like fifteen or more; I don't actually remember which ones have made it 
down into Emihtazuu. These are just barely at the beginning of a process 
of being entirely replaced, though - foregrounded uses of these cases 
can be and typically are rephrased with verb-applicative-converb 
constructions. An example is /madʑîzi /'from there', which can be 
rephrased as /madʑí fikósada/ 'going away from there'. The applicatives 
mostly don't line up one-to-one with the cases, as the applicatives are 
modelled after applicatives in an unrelated language family and are 
built on somewhat different sets of contrasts. /-mǐ /'in, at' has no 
less than four separate ways it can be rephrased verbally: /naɕɛmida/ 
'at a point inside', /najɛnida/ 'at many points inside / filling a large 
portion of the space inside', /nágoda /'near / at', or /naɬódá /'at for 
the purpose of participating in the event that is occurring there'.

(This idiomatic use of /naɬó/, which is literally 'be towards', as 'be 
at for the purpose of what is being done there' is something I just 
noticed myself doing, and not something I created! It's used, for 
example, if someone invites you to something - you'd say /naɬóbá /for 
'I'll be there because you're doing that', but /(ahtáró) nágoba /for 
'I'll already be there for some other purpose and can likely join anyway').

Eventually I see these applicative constructions being shrunk down and 
becoming a new set of case morphemes - but that might take another few 
hundred years.