C.R. Selvakumar selvakum at VALLUVAR.UWATERLOO.CA
Tue Jul 7 21:19:10 UTC 1998


I don't know whether my posting about the passive Tamil construction
got posted or not. I don't understand why Sandra van der Geer
considers that IO can not be 'raised' (occupy the subject position)
in Tamil. It may be to do with the verb in question.
As I pointed out, it is a valid construction in Tamil to say

   Active:   nAn avaLukku paricu aLittEn
              I     to her   prize  gave

   PassiveI: paricu ennAl avaLukku aLikkappaTTAtu
             Prize  by me  for her  given

   PassiveII:  avaL ennAl paricu aLikkappaTTAL
               She  by me  prize given

I don't think Sandra van der Geer's claim* about Tamil based on
K. Rangan's article (which I don't have access to at this moment)
is valid.  If I'm missing something here please let me know.

     *Languages which do not allow movement/raising of IO to SU are IE Hindi, =
      German, Dutch and non-IE Tamil, Kannada.


C.R.(Selva) Selvakumar
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

[I've retained parts of her posting]
@There are two options to analyse passive sentences: with raising and =
@with movements. If you are fond of Deep Structures, both are an option, =
@if you prefer Surface Structures only, only movements are an option. =
@Maybe I should have given here the term movements or move-x instead of =
@raising. But that are matters of definition (plus a bit more).
@John gave a book to Mary
@SU - verb - DO - IO
@A book was given to Mary by John
@Mary was given a book by John
@You see, both original objects can occupy subject position. This is a =
@common phenomenon in a number of IE languages (English, Sanskrit) and =
@non-IE languages (Japanese), but not all languages. All languages permit =
@DO to SU.
@Languages which do not allow movement/raising of IO to SU are IE Hindi, =
@German, Dutch and non-IE Tamil, Kannada.
@1) rAmo nalAya pustaka.m dadAti
@2) nalAya pustaka.m dIyate
@3) nalo pustaka.m dApyate
@1) john-ga mari-ni hon-o atae-ta
@2) hon-ga john-ni (yotte) mari-ni atae-rare-ta
@3) mari-ga john-ni (yotte) hon-o atae-rare-ta
@1) nAn avan-ukku oru pustukam ko.tu-tt-E.n
@2) oru pustukam avan-ukku enn-Al ko.tukkap-pa.t-.t-atu
@3) * avan oru pustakam enn-Al ko.tukkap-pa.t-.t-An
@1) mai.mne usko ek kitAb dI
@2) ek kitAb usko mujhse dI gayI
@3) * vah mujhse ek kitAb dI gaya
@In Tamil some locative phrases can move to subject position in a passive =
@1) ta.n.nIr to.t.ti(y)-il niramp-i(y)-atu
@water - tank-LOC - fill-PAST
@2) to.t.ti enn-Al ta.n.nIr-Ati ko.n.tu nirappa-pa.t-.t-atu
@tank me-BY water-WITH fill-PAST-PASS
@More examples and ample discussion in
@K. Rangan: `Some Problems in Tamil passive structures', Indian =
@Linguistics 40-4:218-229
@(and of course my own book `The Bhasa Problem etc.)
@Sandra van der Geer
@email info at

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