Ergative & Basque

Rick Mc Callister rmccalli at sunmuw1.MUW.Edu
Tue Aug 3 22:02:10 UTC 1999

>About <have> and auxiliary verbs:

>> This western usage is clearly calqued on the famous Castilian
>> distinction between <ser> `be' (unmarked) and <estar> `be' (in a place
>> or in a state).

	I'm curious about your usage of marked vs. unmarked vis-a-vis ser
and estar. English speakers probably see this dichotomy as marked vs.
unmarked but I don't know if Spanish speakers would. I'm wondering if the
average person wouldn't see them as completely different verbs. I'd like to
hear from native speakers, and Italian speakers re essere vs. stare.


>AFAIK, in English 'He's dead' is both Spanish <Esta' muerto> and <Ha muerto>.


	But they do mean different things.
	Esta' muerto is a resultant condition while ha muerto is present
perfect "s/he's died"

Rick Mc Callister
Mississippi University for Women
Columbus MS 39701

More information about the Indo-european mailing list