accusative and ergative languages

petegray petegray at
Tue Aug 3 13:54:32 UTC 1999

[ moderator re-formatted ]

Vidhyanath said:

> The ta-adjective is resultative in Vedic ... it patterns ergatively as
> resultative participles often do. ... the great majority have a passive
> meaning, ... some others are ... intransitives, ...  Some again may even be
> transitive actives,

This is true also in Latin and partly in Greek.   Intransitive:  gata- in
Skt, so ventus in Latin and -batos in Greek.   Active:  deponent verbs in
Latin, e.g. locutus, ratus, vectus, etc.   The Greek forms in -tos are
almost all passive in meaning, often with the idea of "able to be ...", but
it is worth noting the artificial literary device in Latin, whereby a
passive past participle is given an active meaning, after the model of the
Greek middle, e.g. laevo suspensi loculos tabulamque lacerto (Horace, Satire
1:6:74) "hanging their satchels and tablets from their left arm"

> (2) ra:men.a+as'vam a:ruhyate
>    [A] horse is being mounted by R.

Should that be as'vas (nominative)?   If not, is the verb impersonal?


More information about the Indo-european mailing list