Marker for direct objects

Nicholas Ostler nostler at CHIBCHA.DEMON.CO.UK
Fri Apr 20 16:20:12 UTC 2007

In many languages (most accessibly, French and Russian) the genitive 
marker (which in French at least is derived from an ablative preposition 
de) is used to mark some ('partitive') direct objects. Such a marker 
(de, genitive) is also often used (perhaps in other languages) to 
connote 'about', as in French 'racontez-moi de votre pere', ancient 
Greek 'eipe de moi patros' 'tell me about your father'. (Genitive is the 
case with ablative sense in ancient Greek.)

I suppose either of these could be relevant to your GalloSiculan case.

Nicholas Ostler

Giorgio Iemmolo wrote:
> Dear linguists,
> I am working on differential object marking in Gallo-siculo dialects 
> of Sicily, that are northern Italian dialects spoken in 
> central-eastern Sicily. In all Romance languages, except Rumanian that 
> use "pe", the marker for definite objects is the preposition "a" (with 
> the meaning of "motion to, recipient")  likewise in Sicilian. But, in 
> Gallosiculo dialects I found the prepositions "da", used in Italian 
> with the meaning of "motion from" or express passive agent.
> Do anyone know a language that has grammaticalized a preposition with 
> similar meanings to mark direct object? I found only an example, in 
> Shughnu (spoken in Tajikistan), where the marker arises from an 
> original ablative particle.
> I will appreciate any hint.
> Giorgio Iemmolo

Nicholas Ostler 

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