passive / locative

Tue May 5 12:03:56 UTC 1998

Thanks, Frans, for the comments.  Interestingly, in some of the
lesser-known dialects of Malay / Indonesian (eg. Pattani in Thailand, and
some dialects of Borneo), the form _di_ is also used to mark the "by
phrase" of a passive.  But it's probably quite common to find an affinity
between locatives and agentive markers.  What is more difficult
to find is the affinity between locatives and verbal markers
of passive.

Juergen Broschart sent me an interesting example involving the
transitive markers in Tongan.  (I don't think he posted it on
the list, but I'm sure he doesn't mind me mentioning it here.)

This strikes me as reminiscent of yet another example from
Malay / Indonesian, the form _(a)kan_.  In the standard varieties
of the language, and in many colloquial variants, _-kan_ is a
verbal suffix with causative / applicative functions.  In
formal varieties, the (historically related) free form _akan_
is a future marker, before verbs, and a directional marker,
before nouns.  So here too, voicing and location seem to be
inextricably connected.

But are there any examples of this outside of Austronesian?
(Or does it have something to do with the similarity between
nouns and verbs that is so pervasive in Austronesian?  What
about the NW Amerindian languages, which are typologically
similar to Austronesian in so many ways?)

David Gil

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