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- The systematization of tagalog morphosyntax (1994)
- In the last two decades Philippine languages, and of these especially Tagalog, have acquired a prominent place in linguistic theory. A central role in this discussion was played by two papers written by Schachter (1976 and 1977), who was inspired by Keenan's artcle on the subject from 1976. The most recent contributions on this topic have been from de Wolff (1988) and Shibatani (1988), both of which were published in a collection of essays, edited by Shibatani, with the title Passive and Voice. These works, and several works in-between, deal with the focus system specific to Philippine languages. The main discussion centers around the fact that Philippine languages contain a basic set of 5 to 7 affix focus forms. Their exact number varies not only in the secondary literature, but in the primary sources, i.e. Tagalog grammars, as well, where considerable differences in the number of affix focus forms can be found. All of these works, however, do agree on one point: the Philippine focus system basica1ly consists of agent, patient (=goal or object), benefactive, locative, and instrumental affix forms. Schachter/Otanes (1972) list a number of further forms, and in Drossard (1983 and 1984) we tried to show (in an attempt similar to those of Sapir 1917 and Klimov 1977) that the main criterion for a systematization of the Philippine focus system consists in the difference between the active and stative domains, an attempt which in our opinion was largely misunderstood (cf. the brief remarks in Shibatani (1988) and de Wolff (1988). The present paper is thus, on the one hand, an attempt to repeat and clarify our earlier position, and on the other, a further step towards such a systematization. A first step in this direction was an article on resultativity in Tagalog from 1991. In the present paper this approach will be extended to reciprocity. In the process we will show that it is valid to make a distinction between an active (=controlled action) vs. a stative (=limited controlled action) domain. First, however, we will take a brief look at what makes up the active and stative voice systems.
- Towards a typology of valency (1984)
- Grammatical relations, particularly the notions of transitivity, case marking, ergativity, passive and antipassive have been a favourite subject of typological research during the last decade, but surprisingly, the notion of valency has been of marginal interest in cross-linguistic studies, though the syntactic and semantic status of participants is, to a great extent, determined by the relational properties of the verb. Valency is the property of the verb which determines the obligatory and optional number of its participants, their morphosyntactic form, their semantic class membership (e.g. ± animate, ± human) ,and their semantic role (e.g. agent, patient, recipient). The valency inherently gives information on the nature of the semantic and syntactic relations that hold between the verb and its participants. If a verb is combined with more participants than allowed or less than required, or if the participants do not show the required morphosyntactic form or class membership, the clause is ungrammatical. In other words, it is not sufficient to consider only the number of actants as a matter of valency, but it is only acceptable if all semantic and morphosyntactic properties of the relation between a verb and its participants that are predictable from the verb are included. The predictability of these properties results from their inherent givenness, and it does not seem reasonable to count some inherently given relational properties as a matter of valency, but not others (compare Helbig (1971:38f) and Heidolph et ale (1981:479) who distinguish between the quantitative, syntactic and semantic aspect of valency).