[Lingtyp] Syncretism between forms encoding source and agent

David Gil gil at shh.mpg.de
Sat Jul 21 09:47:57 UTC 2018

In Malay/Indonesian, the ablative "from" is expressed with /dari/. And 
in some but not all varieties of Malay/Indonesian, /dari/ is also used 
to mark agents, typically, though not exclusively, in "passive" or 
"passive-like" constructions.

More specifically, the use of /dari/ to mark agents is characteristic of 
Eastern contact varieties of Malay; I have heard it in, among other 
places, Papua, Halmahera, Ambon, Maluku Tenggara and Timor.  And it is 
also attested in the Kirinda subdialect of Sri Lankan Malay.

(It should be noted that in many such cases, /dari/ is but one of two or 
more alternative strategies for flagging agent phrases.)


On 21/07/2018 01:06, Ponrawee Prasertsom wrote:
> Dear all,
> I am exploring research possibilities on the language of motion events.
> Does anyone know of a language that employs the same form (in any 
> strategy--case, preposition, syntactic roles etc.) that for coding 
> source (the starting point in a motion event, as in: I walked *from* 
> my house to school) and agent?
> Related references would also be highly appreciated.
> Sincerely,
> Ponrawee Prasertsom
> Graduate Student
> Department of Linguistics
> Chulalongkorn University
> Bangkok, Thailand
> _______________________________________________
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David Gil

Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10, 07745 Jena, Germany

Email: gil at shh.mpg.de
Office Phone (Germany): +49-3641686834
Mobile Phone (Indonesia): +62-81281162816

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