Direct-Inverse Language

Direct-Inverse Language

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Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. A direct-inverse language is a language where clauses with transitive verbs can be expressed either using a direct or an inverse construction. The direct construction is used when the subject of the transitive clause outranks the object in saliency or animacy but the inverse is used when the "notional object" outranks the "notional subject." This means that in an inverse language morphosyntactic markers vary according to compliance or non-compliance with normal rules governing the neutral order of verb arguments with respect to the position of each on a hierarchy. For this reason direct-inverse languages are sometimes said to have hierarchical alignment. The direct form is used when the subject has higher obviation status or animacy, including person hierarchy, e.g. 1st > 2nd > 3rd, than the object, while the inverse form is used when the reverse is true. A more 'unusual' semantic occurrence not matching the expected syntactic role of the arguments as given by their rank on the hierarchy is marked on the verb, giving flexibility to what can act as an agent on a higher ranking patient.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 80 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 5mm | 127g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 6136771705
  • 9786136771700