Impersonal passives

Johan van der Auwera auwera at UIA.UA.AC.BE
Sat Aug 18 07:34:38 UTC 2001

A posting by Leonid Kulikov (now L.Kulikov at LET.LEIDENUNIV.NL):

as far as the impersonal passives of the type maya gata, I went or maya
=syate I sit - they are clearly artificial (and very late!) in Skt.,
undoubtedly merely copying Middle or rather (even!) New  Indo-Aryan
constructions (and thus rooting in the ergative pattern).

For such constructions see also the unpubl. PhD thesis by N.Ostler (A
theory of case and verb diathesis applied to Cl. Skt., MIT, Cambr.,
1979, p. 351ff.); also Cardona 1976 (as far as I remember, in South
Asian review).

Apparently, nobody of Indian grammarians did really care whether such
constructions are in fact attested in (Vedic) texts (and, I'm sure, they
could not exist in the Vedic period) - as usual So, references to such
patterns, supposedly attested in Sanskrit (scattered in typological
writings), should be taken with caution!

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