Re: [tied] Nominative: A hybrid view

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 22248
Date: 2003-05-25

>The Indo-European genitive, as I understand it, was properly
>the case of origin; that is, the case expressing "of" or "from."
>In a language that had no prior distinction between subject and object,
>save for position,

But, Rob, what stage of IE are you speaking of? Since we are
dealing with preIE here, I have no recourse other than to speak
from what I know of Nostratic and I must say that the accusative
*-m is widespread, occuring in Uralic and Altaic. It is surely an
old case suffix. So the object was indeed marked for the longest
time. You are speaking about the lack of marking of the inanimate
object but this, as I've said, was remedied with partial ergativity.

Now granted, you might be thinking, "Well, if you agree in partial
ergativity then why can't you accept the nominative coming
from the genitive". Here are the points that you need to explain
away before we can accept your idea:

- Explain pronominal inanimate *-d which contrasts
with animate *-s (eg: *kWis versus *kWid)
(You've been ignoring this point all along.)

- Explain why *-s is solely animate, never inanimate
(You did do this in part but your views are in
opposition to the idea of ergative sentences with
inanimate agent and hence destroys the last
possible link between the nominative and genitive.)

Hopefully, this will discourage you and you'll accept all my own
theories... bwahahaha!

>Thus, the PIE (and Uralic) accusative case was probably a locative
>or similar case first, and the form was likely -ma (later reduced to

The case marking also exists in Dravidian for the accusative. My view
is that it was originally an ergative postposition signifying "by". Of
course, conceivably such a postposition could originally have had a
locative sense in some stage of preNostratic (holy Batman!), so I
suppose we are not fully in disagreement.

But I don't think you are in full realization of the large time frames
you're dealing with. The "ergative" stage of IE is so far into the
past that it's hard to debate it seriously through IE alone. It's like
discussing IE's inanimate gender through English examples.

>I do not claim that the above is necessarily correct. It is
>certainly not complete, nor definitive, for I am no professional PIE
>linguist. However, it makes logical sense to me.

Please explain inanimate nominoaccusative *-d in pronominals.

But go on. I like your big-picture thinking.

- gLeN

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