Download e-book for iPad: Actancy by Gilbert Lazard

By Gilbert Lazard

ISBN-10: 3110156709

ISBN-13: 9783110156706

The sequence is a platform for contributions of every kind to this swiftly constructing box. normal difficulties are studied from the point of view of person languages, language households, language teams, or language samples. Conclusions are the results of a deepened research of empirical info. distinctive emphasis is given to little-known languages, whose research may well shed new mild on long-standing difficulties typically linguistics.

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Ill), without their difficulties for general linguistics. For the moment, in this preliminary chapter we shall follow common usage and treat them as givens. As far as ergative languages are concerned, we shall, provisionally, regard as subject the term in the ergative. , usually at the end of the sentence (NNV). In NVN languages the subject is almost always at the head and the object after the verb: such is the case in English and the European languages as a whole, most of the African languages, Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian.

This actancy structure, highlighted by Klimov (1972, 1977), is, together with the accusative and ergative structures, one of the three major structures. Like them, it satisfies the principle of intelligibility: it transgresses somewhat the economy principle, which may explain its relative rareness, but this shortcoming is perhaps made up by the soundness of this dual division of the whole actancy syntax. It is this structure which Klimov somewhat unfortunately terms "active" and which we prefer to call a "dual structure", since it divides into two the totality of one- and two-actant constructions (Lazard 1986a: 106).

This type includes the north-west Caucasian, Bantu and various Amerind languages. "Excentric" languages, on the other hand, are those in which the verb is restricted to a lexeme, possibly endowed with morphemes of tense/aspect/ mood, but with no affixes referring to actant NPs, the latter being equipped with their own case suffixes or adpositions; examples include Chinese, Japanese and south-east Asian languages. Many languages actually come halfway between these two extremes and use a variable combination of markers incorporated in the verb and relators accompanying the actant NPs: thus, French has both intraverbal actant indexes and prepositions.

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Actancy by Gilbert Lazard


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