Thursday, June 15, 2017

Detail #346: Another Alignment

This alignment is a special case of inverse alignment. However, it does not have a hierarchy, it has a pairwise association between noun classes and verb classes. The association can be subject or object.

Sew belongs to a class of verbs consisting of actions demanding fine motor skill. A patch belongs to a class of nouns, basically 'small, inanimate, artificial things'. These two sets together default to object.

The argument which is relevant for verb marking is the leftmost noun-phrase that is not marked by any adposition. Thus, any pro-dropped pronoun is ignored - except if the VP only has pro-dropped pronouns, in which a person-hierarchy and an animacy-hierarchy is used. 

Thus, if the clause were
I sew-1sg-3sg a patch onto my jacket
the marking would be direct. However, if it were
a patch sew-1sg-3sg I onto my jacket
the verb would be inverse. If the construction were
sew-1sg-3sg a patch onto my jacket
you'd get the inverse. 

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