Friday, April 17, 2015

Detail #153: Passives, English-style Perfect and Person

Imagine a language in which some type of past tense or perfect aspect or such is formed along the lines of the English perfect - but only for first and second person. The third person, however, forms the passive along the same lines. An active third person perfect (or whatever) is formed by demoting the (semantic) patient to some kind of oblique status, and have the agent as subject.

This could be cooler if there further was some animacy split or something: animate third persons don't have the passivization happen like this, inanimates do.

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