Ergativity

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Ergativity, gausmi or gernrgativiti (suggested by And Rosta) in Lojban

As pne understands it, the practice of distinguishing between agent (ergative) and non-agent (absolutive), rather than between nonpatient (nominative) and patient (accusative) as is common in Indo-European languages.

For a very brief overview of different case-marking systems, see part of a rant against Esperanto, but you can ignore that here; this appendix focuses only on cases. Ergative languages use approach "E" in that list.

the case of xruti

English does not always marks the ergative-absolutive distinction. E.g. return can mean:

  1. to return to some place (xruti)
  2. to return someone to some place (volve)

The place structure of xruti has changed during its history. A note from 1994 says that xruti was to become non-agentive, although it remains agentive on the gismu lists of 9-6-94.

  • I will have to check my notes, but IIRC the non-agentive meaning was changed to the present agentive at about the same time as the Great Rafsi Shift.

Non-agentive form & it's corresponding agentive form

<tab class=wikitable> cfari begins cfagau initiates denpa pauses depygau delays tolcfa comes to a stop sisti/dicra halts/interrupts sezyxru reverts xruti restores cenba varies cenbygau/cnegau alters jelca burns jelgau ignites snura is secure bandu protects masno is slow snogau/jabre retards/brakes muvdu moves muvgau causes to move mrobi'o dies catra kills banro develops banrygau nurtures zenba increases zengau augments banzu suffices bazgau fulfills culno is full tisna fills basti takes the place of basygau replaces klama goes bevri conveys bilma is sick bilmygau sickens bredi is ready redgau prepares carna turns cargau rotates selcfipu is confused cfipu confuses cilre learns ctuca teaches ckeji feels ashamed kejgau humiliates kakne is able curmi allows curve is pure cuvgau purifies danfu is an answer dafsku/frati replies drani is correct dragau rectifies farlu falls falgau drops fatne is backwards fatygau reverses febvi comes to a boil fabgau boils porpi comes apart popygau breaks fukpi is a copy fukyzba duplicates gacri is a cover gairgau covers over ganlo is closed ganlygau closes gusni illumines gusygau illuminates jdika contracts jdikygau decreases jinru bathes jirgau immerses jorne is joined to jongau connects katna cutter katnygau cuts burcu brush bruzu'e paints komcu is a comb komzu'e combs korcu is bent krogau bends krefu repeats refygau causes to recur kunti is empty kutygau vacates gapru is above lafti lifts lunbe is bare lubgau denudes manku is dark mangau darkens mapti fits matygau matches muvdu is in motion muvgau moves selnupre is a promise nupre promises pagre penetrates gregau causes to penetrate panlo is a slice panlyzba slices pijne is a pin pijnylasna pins pindi is poor pidgau impoverishes preti is a question retsku/tese preti asks a question preja expands pejgau spreads cpana is on punji puts on/at zvati at punji puts on/at punli is a swelling pulgau swells ranji lasts ranjygau causes to last (makes lasting ranti is soft rangau softens ricfu is rich cfugau enriches panzi offspring rorci procreates viknu is thick viknygau thickens ruble is weak blegau weakens runme is melting rumgau makes melt runta dissolves runtygau makes dissolve sepli is apart fendi divides nenri is within setca inserts jbini is between setca interposes spoja explodes pojgau blows up sraku is sharp rakygau scratches sudga is dry sudgau dries off sutra is fast sutygau hastens tcena stretches tengau extends terpa fears tepygau frightenss tinsa is stiff tensygau stiffens titla is sweet titygau sweetens tordu is short torgau shortens tsali is strong tsagau strengthens tsapi ia a spice tsapygau seasons vasru contains vasygau encloses vlipa is powerful vligau empowers vreji is a record of rejgau records vrusi is a flavor vusyga'e tastes panci is an odor sumne smells zasti exists zbasu creates zekri is a crime zerzukte commits a crime zifre is free zifygau liberates </tab> There are doubtless others.

One must also consider the "hidden doers", those with non-x1 agent places: <tab class=wikitable> smuni has meaning te smuni interprets tatpi is tired se tatpi tires fengu is angry se fengu angers torni is twisting se torni twists xalni is panicked se xalni terrifies zgike is music se zgike makes music </tab>

zil- is useful too: <tab class=wikitable> zilsti comes to a stop sisti halts zilsti comes to a stop dicra interrupts zilxru reverts xruti restores zilcatra dies catra kills 'zilcfipu is confused cfipu confuses </tab>

  • .filip.:
    • Wouldn't "is killed" be better as a translation than "dies"? That is, there has to be a killer or there isn't really any catraing involved. I'd use mrobi'o (become dead) for just plain dying "without a cause". And I'm not sure whether consensus was reached on the usage of zil- in this manner. xu la .andban. cu lojbo?)
      • It's a reasonable suspicion to have when I say something, but in this instance it's pretty uncontroversial, at least among the jboskepre. (I can't speak for nonjboskpre, since I don't get to hear their relevant views).

Lojban distinguishes forms of causation... One could extend the foregoing series with "each of the others".