Conlangery 113 medallion

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3 Responses to “Conlangery #113: Applicatives”

  1. Greg Pandatshang

    I wonder if there are attested cases where applicatives replace the subject rather than object of a verb. I say this because David’s approach to relatavisation sounds attractive, but the language I’m working on does not have a passive, so I wouldn’t be able to get the applicativised object into the subject position. I don’t think I feel inspired to do something unprecedented in this case.

    • admin

      Well, it could be that your language can relativize subjects or objects, but not oblique arguments, which then allows you to use an applicatives to raise an oblique to the object position for relativization.

      Why no passive?

      • Greg Pandatshang

        Yes, subject and object only would work. That’s reasonably common cross-linguistically, isn’t it?

        My language uses direct-inverse/salience hierarchy, with vague ergative tendencies, so I don’t really need a passive. Plus no passive is an intentional stylistic choice to make it less like my native English. I’m not that clear yet on how the direct-inverse will work in subordinate clauses. Heck, I can’t even figure out what to call the two arguments of a transitive verb: “subject” and “object” don’t seem quite right.


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