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Actancy by Gilbert Lazard

By Gilbert Lazard

The sequence is a platform for contributions of every kind to this speedily constructing box. normal difficulties are studied from the point of view of person languages, language households, language teams, or language samples. Conclusions are the results of a deepened learn of empirical facts. distinct emphasis is given to little-known languages, whose research may perhaps shed new gentle on long-standing difficulties mostly linguistics.

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However, I am afraid this is not the case. The definition commonly referred to is based upon such controversial notions as that of "transitive subject". , and Lazard 1997: 247). Typologies, like any systematic constructions, are attractive: they are easily extended to various considerations outside their original domain, so that they tend to become rather fuzzy aggregates with unclear boundaries. This is why I think it is necessary to go back to the first principles, even if this leads the linguist to express elementary truths.

English, for instance, more readily than French, stresses one or another of the words of a sentence to highlight its rhematic value. In different African languages and Yukaghir the intent is necessarily indicated by the form of the conjugation (see above (30)). In Quechua and Ay- Intent markers 21 mara many sentences include a thematic particle and/or a rhematic particle. In Japanese, there is a thematic particle in most sentences. In declining, free order languages, such as Hungarian and Russian, word order always reveals the intent.

But the structure is, not surprisingly, rare and is hardly to be found except in cases where the semantic relations of the lexemes present are such that the grammatical markers are rendered useless. The economy principle is less binding than the intelligibility principle: languages accept (probably even demand) a certain degree of redundance. 3) structures, are not uncommon. They are probably the result, either of pressures applied to the actancy system by other demands within that system of systems, the grammar of a language, or of historical circumstances and the relative inertia of linguistic balances (languages evolve slowly and progressively) or, more plausibly, of a combination of the two.

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