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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 7:17 pm 
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There is also some evidence that the ergative pattern can spread to (or combine with) the accusative pattern.

We have two sentences with glo 'begin' were subjects of transitive and intransitive clauses seem to fill the same role:

kogloet regidtahv 'we began the excavation'

rekooahn … legloen b’rem 'the stream … has begun to flow'

But we also have what seems like a causative:

boglo prehniv rehgahn 'once again I will begin the empire' = 'I will cause the empire to begin again'.

Shorah


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 1:26 am 
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The low frequency of accusative verbs could easily be an accident, given the small size of our corpus - RAWA's dictionary (when it comes) will hopefully help, there. As for a possible example of a causative glo, that's from the Talashar text, right? How complete is the context?

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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 4:10 am 
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There is no context -- this is the longest intelligible fragment visible in the published illustration with this text. But it makes sense, and the idea is surely the sort of thing Gehn would say. So I consider it authentic.

And I don't see any linguistic conundrum here. In my dialect of English the verb begin can be used in all three ways exemplified in the translations I have given. So clearly it is theoretically possible for the same ambitransitive verb to be used both ergatively and accusatively.

Shorah


P.S. Here a link to an image of the text: http://myst-aventure.com/gallery2/d/8428-1/BoAtexte579.jpg


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:47 am 
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Looking more closely at your examples, actually, we find that glo is firmly ergative - your first example, kogloet regidtahv "we began the excavation" can be understood as "we caused the excavation to begin" with the characteristic causative alternation of ergative verbs. Thus this is not a real case of an accusative verb being used ergatively.

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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 9:05 pm 
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It could be understood ergatively, or it could be understood accusatively. The two interpretations correspond to the two meanings of the verbal noun, either as the process of a person excavating or as the thing that results from someone excavating.

It seems to me to be a straightforward analogy from "we began the excavation" to "we began the tunnel."

And there is support for being able to interpret the verb glo in this way from the fact that its antonym shuhfay is used similarly:

reëndaytahntee leshuhfayeet oolbahoy 'the Builders have finished my office'.

Shorah


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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:52 am 
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Yes, "we began the tunnel" is elliptic for, say, "we began the construction of the tunnel" - in the same way, "I will begin the empire" would be elliptic for a longer phrase.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:46 pm 
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That is pretty much exactly my point. The distinction between "ergative" and "accusative" is just another way of describing whether a verb involves ellipsis of (I would say incorporates the notion of) an expression of causation.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:25 am 
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I mean, that's definitely not what the distinction is, but ok.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:16 pm 
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What I meant was that if you take a typical "ergative" verb like English open which is categorized as ergative because you can say both:

She opened the door and we went in.
vs.
The door opened and we went in.

because the transitive sentence (with 'door' as object) corresponds to the intransitive (with 'door' as subject); then it normally follows that you can paraphrase the first sentence by constructing a causative out of the second sentence:

She caused the door to open and we went in.

With an "accusative" pair of sentences on the other hand you cannot do this:

She ate the leftovers after we went in.
vs.
She ate after we went in.

because the subject is the same in both transitive and intransitive.

But there is a third kind of verb that can be either "ergative" or "accusative":

We began dinner after she arrived.
vs.
Dinner began after she arrived.
vs.
We began after she arrived.

The fact that you can paraphrase the first sentence using a causative of the second ("We caused the dinner to begin after she arrived") is just a consequence of the verb being "ergative" but does not prove that the verb cannot also be "accusative."

Shorah


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