By Brigitte Bauer
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TRENDS IN LINGUISTICS considers itself a discussion board for state-of-the-art examine in response to reliable empirical facts on language in its a variety of manifestations, together with signal languages. It regards linguistic version in its synchronic and diachronic dimensions in addition to in its social contexts as vital assets of perception for a greater figuring out of the layout of linguistic structures and the ecology and evolution of language.
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Extra info for Archaic Syntax in Indo-European: The Spread of Transitivity in Latin and French
In nominative languages the entire language system is oriented towards the grammatical subject. The grammatical subject is not only unmarked, it is also the pivot of grammatical operations, such as passivization. In the process of passivization the direct object in the accusative takes the form of the nominative case (subject), the verb agrees with this element, and the agent is referred to by an oblique case or a prepositional phrase. Since neither the prepositional phrase nor the oblique case are obligatory in contrast to the patient-Subject, passivization is primarily the shift from object to subject function.
Came home and he-Erg, killed the goose-Abs. Instead we find a structure of the type: the man came home and him the wife killed as in the example: Dyirbal: rjuma banaga+nyu rjabu+rjgu father-Abs. return-Non-Fut. mother-Erg. 'father returned and mother saw him' (Dixon 1979:61-62) bura+n see-Non-Fut. It is, however, not possible to coordinate clauses that feature underlying functions that are syntactically incompatible such as - in nominative languages: °the man came home and (him) his wife killed or in ergative languages: °the man came home and (he) killed his wife The passive in nominative languages and the antipassive in ergative languages allow these coordinating patterns, cf.
Father returned and mother saw him' (Dixon 1979:61-62) bura+n see-Non-Fut. It is, however, not possible to coordinate clauses that feature underlying functions that are syntactically incompatible such as - in nominative languages: °the man came home and (him) his wife killed or in ergative languages: °the man came home and (he) killed his wife The passive in nominative languages and the antipassive in ergative languages allow these coordinating patterns, cf. English the man came home and was killed by his wife.
Archaic Syntax in Indo-European: The Spread of Transitivity in Latin and French by Brigitte Bauer