410Subject vs. object vs. agent (was Re: ÓNI, ONYE)
- Apr 16, 2003David Kiltz wrote:
> Why do you think they are not subjects ? "You go swimming with me".Actually, its thematic role is that of coagent, which is not the
> While _me_ is in the oblique case here, its thematic role is certainly
> that of subject (agent) of the sentence. (I.e. == "you and I go
same thing as agent. At any rate, I can't think of any language
that would treat them alike.
> I don't see what sense a direct object would make here.Many languages treat the objects of (some) prepositions as direct
objects of verbs (for case marking purposes, that is). I can't
think of any that would treat them as subjects, although there
are languages (Maya comes to mind) in which the expression of
(some) prepositional objects bears a similarity to conjugation
(ie the expression of the subject in the verb).
> languages may vary as to how they encode a prepositionalCan you name any language(s) that would use the nominative (distinct
> participant of a noun phrase (Semitic would use the genitive)
from accusative)? (Don't say `Esperanto': that would be cheating.)
> Or, with other words, I'm using "subject" and "object"I think that is counterproductive, however, for two reasons:
> as functional (semantical) categories, not formal ones.
(1) it creates a terminological gap between you and other people
(such as Edouard) who correctly use those terms for grammatical
functions but not for thematic roles, and the effect is that you
see disagreement where there is none;
(2) it obscures the mechanism of case marking, which is driven
by grammatical (formal) functions in those languages that have
them, not by thematic (semantic) roles.
<fa-al-_haylu wa-al-laylu wa-al-baydA'u ta`rifunI
wa-as-sayfu wa-ar-rum.hu wa-al-qir.tAsu wa-al-qalamu>
(Abu t-Tayyib Ahmad Ibn Hussayn al-Mutanabbi)
Ivan A Derzhanski <http://www.math.bas.bg/ml/iad/>
H: cplx Iztok bl 91, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria <iad@...>
W: Dept for Math Lx, Inst for Maths & CompSci, Bulg Acad of Sciences
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