Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bryatesle: Case Usage IV: The Ablative

The ablative is a general oblique case; with locative postpositions, it tends to signify 'away from', but with other kinds of postpositions it quite widely occurs without any particular meaning attached to it. It also appears sometimes as a quirky case object, and with a very small number of verbs as a quirky case subject.

Many verbs of emotion take the ablative as their objects. So do some verbs of perception:
en enam vibai
he her.abl like.3sg
he likes her 
nëm bubeta vret
I pulse-abl hear-1sg.atelic
I hear a pulse
The object use, and the locative use, are the main contexts where the definite and partitive forms appear. (The partitive is of course conflated with the dative, but does still appear there.)

 Also actively perceiving something as something other than it is:
xnivi nïty-nïsr kugdak bevrine
you-pl me(abl)-me(2ndsubj) fool-acc consider-2pl
you take me for a fool (but I assert I am not)
Some verbs of perception can take the perceiver in dative and the perceived thing in either the nominative or accusative, depending on the volitionality of the stimulus. Some verbs of perception, on the other hand, take the nominative as perceiver and the ablative or accusative as object, depending on the implied accuracy of the perception. Many of the more 'abstract' verbs of perception permit both - however, most speakers would find a dative perceiver with an ablative stimulus somewhat odd.

Regarding the construction given above, making the two arguments go the other way around as far as case marking goes would essentially mean the same thing, but often the thing considered will go first, and the quality or thing it is perceived as second:
xnivity na-nïsr kudgaty bevrine
Secondary subject marking is not mandatory for this kind of construction, but is not unusual. Something turning into something will also generally be marked with the ablative; however, if the thing that is transformed is the subject, the secondary subject marking is usually affixed; if the thing transformed is the object, the reciprocal object marking often is affixed:
Kerba Dinimak pardïtysus kirstai
Kerba Dinim-acc poor(noun).abl.recpr.obj play.3sg.telic
Kerba played Dinim into a poor man (Kerba won over Dinim in gambling, making him poor)
 The partitive ablative|dative sometimes marks transition from a state:
Dinim pardër urgui.
Dinim poor(noun).abl|dat.part rise.3sg.telic
Dinim rose from being a poor man
 This can also mark ability to transform on the noun itself:
Kerber dynak(dynareze) (ake) dïsdei
Kerba.A|D.part rich.acc.(part/neg) (not) succeed.telic
Kerba does (not) have it in him to succeed

I think one more post will be necessary to this initial description of the case usage of Bryatesle.

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