Valency and Voice Marking
As we've already seen Proto-Deithas inflectional forms and have an understanding of how verbs are formed, we can procede forward on a new distinction, that of valency. Proto-Deithas has a morphosyntactic alignment of Nominative-Accusative. This means that the nominative case expresses the core arguments of intransitive verb and the agent of a transitive verb, with the object as the oblique case distinct. Though inanimate nouns only appear in the nominative case, the position of the argument has a morphosyntactic factor.
In terms of Proto-Deithas, intransitive verbs are monovalent and transitive verbs are at least divalent. Verbs are capable, however, of decreasing or increasing the valency of a verb through a morphological process which, for convenience, is called voice. There are a total of 8 voices: Active, Avalent, Benefactive, Causative, Detransitive, Malefactive, Middle, and Reflexive, though some analysts consider the specialized functions of certain voices independent, therefore increasing the number.
It should be noted that these voices can be layered. Where a voice will increase the valency, a voice can be applied to the verb to decrease it at the same time. They are therefore not true voices, but are called so as they affect the overall valency of the given verb.
We've already discussed the formation and existence of the active voice. It is the standard voice of intransitive and transitive verbs.
The detransitive voice is the second most common voice, where the verb loses its object argument, whether it is unimportant to express or omitted--that is, there is no implicit object to be expected. This voice therefore reduces the total number of arguments of a polyvalent verb down by one: Transitive becomes intransitive.
The detransitive uses a separate form of agreement than the active voice; rather than prefixing the subject, it has that suffix embedded in the aspect-mood marker. This marker receives the stress:
*ḫa-gwím-tey dwe maḫ manwṛˊh, he marries my sister > *gwim-ṭéyz dwe, he marries, he gets married.
Detransitizing may cause a lexical shift:
*me-xíw-tey ehm yáht, I hear you > *xiw-héy ehm, I listening, I am listening.
The detransitive has one function abscribed to it that is beyond the typical scope of such a voice: The passive voice. In the passive voice, the subject is dropped, and the object is raised to the subject. The passive is sometimes considered a separate voice, as demonstrated by its formation. The 3rd person forms of the detransitive are used as the primary marker for the passive, and do not change to agree with the subject. Instead, the personal prefixes are used to agree with the subject. The stress of the passive verb rests on the second-to-last syllable:
*ḫa-gwím-tey dwe maḫ manwṛˊh, he marries my sister > *ḫa-gwim-ṭéyz maḫ manwṛˊh, she is married.
*me-xíw-tey ehm yáht, I hear you > *me-xíw-ṭeyz yat, you are heard.
Benefactive and Malefactive
The benefactive and malefactive are two polyvalent voices: That is, unlike the detransitive, can be applied on any verb with any number of inherent valencies, to increase the valency of the verb. The two voices increase the valency by one, adding someone who in some respect benefits or is hindered by the action.
The benefactive creates an oblique argument that is benefited from the action. It is formed with the root suffix, -e-, placed before the aspect-mood marker, and generally receives the accent. The additional argument is placed after the object, the word order being Verb Subject Object Beneficiary.
*me-bséŋk-tey ehm ntyágṭ yáht, I give the food to you > *me-bseŋk-é-tey ehm ntyágṭ yáht renwṛˊh, I give you food for (your) son.
The malefactive, however, creatse the opposite effect: The argument is someone who negatively benefits from the action. It implies harm or depletion, that something is being done to hinder the argument. It is formed with the suffix -ane-:, with the stress on the final syllable:
*me-sdétir-tey ehm ntyágṭ, I cook the food > *me-sdetir-ane-téy ehm ntyágṭ yáht, I cook food *from you, or, I cook food in spite of your presence (i.e., there may not be enough for you--tough!).
The malefactive, plus the hortative, creates a prohibative. The verb is negated, and the beneficiary argument becomes the agent of prohibition:
*ḫa-gwím-tey dwe maḫ manwṛˊh, he marries my sister > *ḫa-gwim-ane-téy dwe maḫ manwṛˊh ehmé I forbid him from marrying my sister!
The detransitive voice may be layered onto these two voices. By doing so, one removes the object argument, not the beneficiary object.
*me-bséŋk-tey ehm ntyágṭ yáht, I give the food to you > *bseŋk-e-héy ehm yáht, I give for you.
*me-sdétir-tey ehm ntyágṭ, I cook the food > *sdetir-ane-héy ehm yáht, I cook in spite of you.
In some instances of the the detransitive voice, the beneficiary argument is lost. In the malefactive, this creates a negative meaning within the verb, where the subject is inherently hindered by the action, and alters the lexical meaning of the verb in question. This is known as the negative detransitive.
*nyag-ane-héy ehm, I cannot eat, I starve.
This meaning exists, through analogy, on intransitive verbs:
*me-yéŋ-tey ehm, I breath > *yeŋ-ane-héy ehm lénał, I drown (I cannot breath because water prohibits me from breathing).
The reflexive cannot be used along with the benefactive; the middle voice is used instead.
The causative voice is a polyvalent voice, like the benefactive or malefactive. Unlike the benefactive or malefactive, this can convert an intransitive verb into a transitive one. In intransitive verbs, the subject of is raised to the agent, and an object is created. The general meaning is, "to cause to x". This is formed with the the root suffix, -ja-, which receives the stress.
*kréṛd-tey pré, someone is dead > *ḫa-kreṛd-já-tey dwe préṭ, he kills someone (causes to die).
The causative in transitive verbs works a little different. The subject is promoted to an agent of causation, while the initial object is promoted to the agent of the action, and a new object is created as the object of the verb. This creates a trivalent verb.
*ḫa-gwím-tey sam dwé, he marries her > *me-gwim-já-tey ehm smˊ dú, I cause him to marry her, I arrange him to marry her.
As can be seen, the causative voice often causes a lexical shift: Die > to cause to die, kill; marry > to arrange someone to marry someone; to drink > to serve a drink; to see > to cause to see, to make someone understand, teach.
The detransitive is also used with this voice. When used on a bivalent causative, there is no change syntactically, but there is a change in meaning:
*ḫa-kreṛd-já-tey dwe préṭ, he kills someone > *kreṛd-já-ṭeyz dwe préṭ he has someone killed.
In ditransitive verbs, the agent of causation and the object of the verb remain, but the agent of action is lost.
*me-len-mí-tey ehm méłłen I drink beer > *me-len-mi-já-tey ehm dwé méłłen, I serve him beer > *len-mi-já-hey ehm méłłen, I serve beer.
The newly created object cannot be dropped; instead, it can be replaced with pré, someone, something.
The reflexive can easily be applied to the causative, either direct or indirect:
*ḫa-kreṛd-já-tey dwe préṭ, he kills someone > *ḫa-kreṛd-já-tey-si dwe, he kills himself, he commits suicide.
OR > *kreṛd-já-ṭeyz-si dwe, he has himself killed, he sacrifices himself.
The middle can also be applied to causatives. In this instance, the middle root suffix -e- follows the causative root suffix, and desyllabifies into -h-.
Reflexive and middle
The reflexive and middle do not alter valency as greatly as the other voices. In the reflexive, the subject becomes the object as well; in intransitive verbs, this results in the subject being the same as the indirect object (if applicable--not all verbs can become reflexive), and in transitive verbs, this can retain or lose the object, depending on the meaning. The reflexive is formed with the suffix -si. The stress does not move in the verb.
*ḫa-káḫy-tey dwe préṭ, he blesses someone > *ḫa-káḫy-tey-si dwe, he blesses himself.
*ḫa-gráf-tey dwe préṭ, she nurtures someone > *ḫa-gráf-tey-si dwe, she nurtures herself, she rests.
*me-bseŋk-tey ehm seṛkág dú, someone gives me the chicken > *me-bséŋk-tey-si ehm seṛkág, I give myself the chicken, I take the chicken.
The middle is a bit more difficult of a voice to pin down. The middle is formed with the root suffix -e-, similar to the benefactive, but retains the final suffix -s.
The middle voice has three primary functions: Egoist, reciprocal, and autocausative.
Egoist middle is similar to the benefactive, however is reflexive in this function; the subject directly benefits from the action being performed. This meaning is much more difficult to translate into English.
*me-bseŋk-é-tey-s ehm seṛkág yáht, I give the chicken to you (I benefit from giving this to you).
The reciprocal middle is used to express that the action is performed against the subject, which is generally plural. Unlike the reflexive, this implies that the action is formed against each of the subject by each of the subjects.
cf. *ḫi-kreṛd-já-h-tey-s dwey, they kill each other, versus *ḫi-kreṛd-já-tey-si dwey, they kill themselves.
The middle, with the detransitive, forms an autocausative meaning. That is, the action becomes the experiencer--this only applies to verbs where an experiencer may be valid.
*krek-é-ṭeyz ħwáŋkey, the window breaks.
The two avalent voices: Avalent and locative
The avalent and locative are two voicse that lack any valency; that is, this form of reduction reduces the valency to zero; there is no object, and there is no subject. Indirect objects, etc., may still apply.
The avalent is a statement of general fact, that the action is being performed without regard to any argument. This is formed with the root suffix -ḫiṣ-, from the verb of the same name (which is also used to form the perfective and retrospective), and utilize the third person indefinite detransitive endings, instead of the typical endings found in verbs. This is generally used in weather verbs, but also in certain periphrastic constructions.
*len-ḫíṣ-eyz, it is raining.
*ħent-ḫíṣ-eyz, it is harvesting, there is harvesting.
The hortative is used as a general cohortative.
*len-mi-ḫíṣ-iz, Let's drink!
The locative, however, is used to verbalize locations: This is where X occurs, where "this" or "here", like any form of deixis, is relative to topicality. It is formed with the root suffix -yi-, which receives the stress. This suffix, however, causes a shift in in the endings, that are easily determined with sandhi: -eyz becomes -hiz, -ayz becomes -ḫiz. There is no locative hortative.
*ħent-yí-hiz, here is harvesting.
Both the avalent and locative are useful in compounding and in forming adverbs of manner from verbs. The locative is typically used as an adverb in verbs of motion.
ḫa-tzéw-tey kreṛd-ja-ḫíṣ-ey dwe smˊ, he catches him with murderous intent.
ḫa-hemmáḫ-tey len-yí-hiz dwe, he walks while it is raining.
As shown by the examples, the avelent and locative can be used in conjunction with the causative voice; no other voice is compatible with these voices.
Last edited by Neek on Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:02 am, edited 3 times in total.