Psych Verbs in Ergative Languages

Nicholas Rollo David Evans nrde at UNIMELB.EDU.AU
Sun May 15 14:37:24 UTC 2005

Carol, another important pattern to consider is the case of languages
which just treat these as a straightforward transitive with the
experiencer as object. The Iwaidjan languages are a clear example, with a
host of constructions of the type 'sickness grabs me',  'shame grabs me',
'it turns me the memories' (= I remember) and so on. See the following
article of mine, which also has quite a few onward references to the
phenomenon in other Australian languages (and of course the volume has
quite a lot of other relevant articles). Best, Nick

Evans, Nicholas. 2004. Experiencer objects in Iwaidjan languages. In
Bhaskararao Peri and Subbarao Karumuri Venkata (ed.). Non-nominative
Subjects - Volume 1.
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. Pp. 169-192.

> I have a question about psych verbs in languages with ergative morphology.
> English psych verbs, of course, vary a lot in how they treat the
> experiencers.  Verbs like remember, forget, fear take the experiencer as
> subject, while such verbs as annoy, bother, frighten seem to take the
> experiencer as direct object.  In other languages the experiencer often
> appears as a dative.
> I hope to discover whether any one of these patterns tends to be preferred
> in languages with ergative morphology.
> I'm grateful not only for data, but also for references to appropriate
> sources.  --  With thanks, Carol Rosen

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