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Summary Details


Query:   Passives with object agreement
Author:  Mark Donohue
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Syntax

Language Family:   Niger-Congo

Summary:   A FEW WEEKS AGO, WHICH IN MY PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY IS ONE MAJOR LOGIC
BOARD FAILURE IN MY COMPUTER AGO, I POSTED A QUERY ABOUT THE
OCCURRENCE OF COMPLEX PREDICATES IN WHICH THE ONE VERB FORM APPEARS
WITH BOTH PASSIVE MORPHOLOGY AND OBJECT-AGREEMENT MARKING, FOR TWO
DIFFERENT ARGUMENTS (EITHER A BASE DITRANSITIVE, OR A DERIVED VERB). I
CITED SOME EXAMPLES FROM PANCANA, AN AUSTRONESIAN LANGUAGE FROM
SOUTHEAST SULAWESI, WHICH *ALMOST* SHOWS THIS PATTERN, AND ASKED IF
ANYONE KNEW OF ANY MORE LANGUAGES THAT DID THIS, LESS AMBIGUOUSLY
(LINGUIST 14.1833).

IT IS INDEED POSSIBLE FOR A LANGUAGE TO PERMIT OBJECT MARKING WHEN THE
CLAUSE IS PASSIVE, AS LONG AS WERE TALKING ABOUT A DIFFERENT
OBJECT. EXAMPLES COME FROM KICHAGA, HAYA AND RUNYAMBO.

SWAHILI ALSO ALLOWS THE OBJECT MARKING + PASSIVE ON THE ONE VERB, BUT
UNDER STRICT RESTRICTIONS. THE LOGIC BOARD CRASH UNFORTUNATELY
DESTROYED THE EXAMPLE I WAS SO KINDLY SENT, BUT IT DOES HAPPEN.

KICHAGA (TONE MARKS OMITTED) (BRESNAN AND MOSHI 1990)
M-KA N-A-I-KI-LYI-O
1-WIFE FOC-1S-PR-7O-EAT-APPL-PASS
THE WIFE IS BEING [BENEFITTED/ADVERSELY AFFECTED] BY SOMEONES EATING
IT.

RUNYAMBO (RUGEMALIRA 1993: 229)

OMWÁNÁ A-KA-BI-REET-ER-W-Á OMUSÉIJA
CHILD SHE-PAST-TTHEM-BRING-APPL-PASS-FV MAN
THE CHILD WAS BROUGHT THEM BY A MAN

THE FOLLOWING HAYA EXAMPLE IS A BASE-DITRANSITIVE VERB, APPLICATIVISED
(WHICH MAKES FOR FOUR CORE ARGUMENTS), AND THEN PASSIVISED; THAT
LEAVES ROOM FOR TWO OBJECT PREFIXES:

HAYA
OMWAAN A-KA-GA-BA-SIIG-IL-W-A KATO
CHILD HE-P3-IT-THEM-SMEAR-APPL-PASS-KATO
THE CHILD WAS SMEARED OIL FOR THEM BY KATO.

ALL INTERESTING, AND ALL BANTU. ID BE CURIOUS TO SEE IF THIS HAPPENS
ANYWHERE ELSE: SO FAR WEVE GOT MULTIPLE BANTU ATTESTATIONS, AND SOME
NEAR-MISSES IN AUSTRONESIAN. ANY OTHER TAKERS?

THANKS TO ALEX ALSINA AND THE NOW ANONYMOUS SWAHILI-INFORMATION GIVER
FOR REFERENCES AND EXAMPLES.

REFERENCES:

BRESNAN, JOAN, AND LIOBA MOSHI. 1990. OBJECT ASYMMETRIES IN
COMPARATIVE BANTU SYNTAX. LINGUISTIC INQUIRY 20: 147-185.

DURANTI, ALESSANDRO AND ERNEST RUGWA BYARUSHENGO. 1977. ON THE NOTION
OF ''DIRECT OBJECT''. IN E.R. BYARUSHENGO, A DURANTI, AND L.M. HYMAN,
EDS., HAYA GRAMMATICAL STRUCTURE (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA OCCASIONAL
PAPERS IN LINGUISTICS NO. 6): 45-71.

RUGEMALIRA, JOSEPHAT M. 1993. BANTU MULTIPLE OBJECT
CONSTRUCTIONS. LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS 23 (3-4): 226-252.

-MARK DONOHUE

LANGUAGE-FAMILY: NIGER-CONGO; CODE: NC

LL Issue: 8.675
Date Posted: 07-May-1997
Original Query: Read original query