Saturday, 5 June 2010


This time, I bring you the pronouns, the step before going into verbs.

Tulvan distinguishes between 1st person singular absolutive and ergative. This differentiation is employed when dealing with transitive/intransitive verbs but also with regards to volition. Commonly the 1st person singular ergative is used to indicate volition or intention with certain verbs. Example:

Lev kem uroth. I see a woman. (i.e. I see there is a woman as I pass by or in general)
Lev kwam uroth. I see a woman. (i.e. I'm looking at the woman, even sometimes it can mean that you are staring at her)

The distinction is subtle. Other pronouns don't really have this duality, this is because only oneself can know if you intend to do something or not. Even though this is so, modern Tulvan developed a marker to denote ergativity in other pronouns. The pronuns are as follow:

kem, kwam. 1st singular absolutive and ergative. kemen. 1st plural
mem. 2nd singular. memen. 2nd plural
teg, tot. 3rd singular fem and masc. tegen, toten. 3rd plural fem and masc.

The particle used to denote ergativity in those pronouns which didn't use to have a volitional duality is -e. So:

mem, meme. 2nd erg and abs. memen, memene. 2nd erg and abs.
tote, tege. ... totene, tegene ... etc

Note that 1st plural can be kemen or kemene, there is no such thing as *kwamen.

Lev memen kem. You see me. (no ergative)
Lev memene kem. You are looking at me. (ergativized)

It is optional for absolutive pronouns to take the accusative.

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