I realized after I posted about using Persian ezafe style suffixes that I wanted Jin to not be head-marked, and to not have person-marking on the verbs. That's just because my eventual "elvish" conlang needs to be head-marking and have person/number/gender marking, and I'm making these as opposites. That is, there are certain features of each language that are core, and so the "opposite" language will not have those. Elvish will have person agreement; Jin won't. Jin will have morphological tense & aspect; Elvish won't. Elvish will be suffixing, while Jin is primarily prefixing. So, goodbye ezafe suffixes!
In its place, I wanted suffixes that would control what argument were required by the verb, and so Jin's voice system came out of that.
Voice controls the transitivity, valency, and diathesis of verbs. This plays a major role in the structure of sentences.
The voices in Jin are:
Verbs all have a default voice.
- A verb’s default voice is one of the voices listed above.
- Most (all?) default voices are intransitive or transitive.
- No voice suffix is added for a verb in default voice.
- This converts the verb from it’s default voice to the voice marked by the suffix.
- A voice suffix can often add an dynamic, volitional, causative, etc. dimension.
- The voice suffix that is the same voice as the verb’s default voice can be added specifically to change to a dynamic, volitional, causative, etc. meaning, while keeping the same transitivity & valency.
- The dynamic, volitional, causative, etc. meanings added by the voice suffixes are not consistent for each suffix. It all depends on the verb.
- Not all voice suffixes are used with every verb.
Summary of the Voices
- The active intransitive voice requires 1 active argument.
- Active intransitive verbs are (usually?) unergative.
- They are often verbs of motion or other activity that are not directed towards an object.
- Active intransitive verbs do not mention if there is a stative patient, and do not imply such.
- They can be seen as an “anti-middle” voice, where an agent is performing an action on an object, but the object is not specified or even implied.
- The stative intransitive voice requires 1 stative argument.
- Active intransitive verbs are (usually?) unaccusative.
- Nouns, adjectives, and adverbs of other languages are often stative intransitive verbs in Jin.
- These verbs do not mention or consider if there is an active agent, and do not imply it.
- Depending on the root verb, stative intransitive verbs can used as a middle voice or a resulative.
- Require 2 arguments: 1 active and 1 stative
- The active transitive has word order Verb - Active - Stative.
- The active transitive describes what the active argument is doing to the stative argument.
- Active transitives are proto-typical transitive verbs.
- Require 2 arguments: 1 active and 1 stative
- The stative transitive has word order Verb - Stative - Active.
- Stative transitive verbs define some relationship between the arguments.
- They are often emotions, perceptions, or locatives.
- The active passive requires 1 stative argument.
- This voice indicates there is an active constituent (agent) involved, although it’s left unstated.
- The stative passive requires 1 stative argument.
- This voice indicates there is an active constituent (stimulus, location, etc.) involved, although it’s left unstated.
- This voice can seem odd since it’s arguments are often treated as subjects by other languages.
- The active antipassive requires 1 active argument.
- it indicates there is a stative constituent (patient) involved, although it’s left unstated.
- The stative antipassive requires 1 active argument.
- This voice indicates there is a stative constituent (experiencer, theme, etc.) involved, although it’s left unstated.
- Like the stative passive, this voice can behave in unexpected manners for non-native speakers who are used to different notions of “subject”.
- The active version of these voices requires 1 active argument.
- The stative version of these voices requires 1 stative argument.
- Both voices are essentially transitive.
- The reflexive indicates the active and stative arguments of the underlying transitive verb are the same.
- The reciprocal indicates there are 2 or more constituents involved, each of which are active (carrying out the action on the others) and stative (undergoing the actions performed by the other constituents).
- Jin does not have reflexive or reciprocal pronouns; these voices are used in lieu of those.
- The impersonal requires 0 arguments. It stands on its own.
- It states that an action is happening or that something exists, without comment on who or what is in the state or performing the action.