Marathi : impersonal passive, ergative

Kameshwa Wali kwali1 at TWCNY.RR.COM
Wed Sep 19 18:07:58 UTC 2001

Marathi impersonal passive, also known as capability passive, though morphologically siminlar to personal passive (PP)  has entirely different syntactic properties and exhibits certain morphological variations not found in PP. (See Rosen and Wali 1989, Twin Passives, Inversion and multistratalism in Marathi: NLLT 7, 1-50. Some interesting properties of Capability Passives are : the demoted agent retains certain subject properties, and if there is an unmarked NP, it shoe agr. with the verb but no subject or object properties. 

M. ergative marker -ne/ni is used to mark the subject transitives in the perfective and the subject of subjunctives. In addition it is also used to mark  (i) Inanimate causer in intransitives; (ii) instrumental marker (iii) locative marker in certain instances. In (i-iii) it has no ergative sense. It also has several other postpositional uses. If interested I can send a list. 
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