Austronesian alignment

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Austronesian alignment, commonly known as the Philippine-type voice system, is a typologically unusual kind of morphosyntactic alignment in which "one argument can be marked as having a special relationship to the verb"[1]. This special relationship manifests itself as a voice affix on the verb that corresponds to a noun (i.e., the subject) within the same clause that is either marked for a particular case or found in a privileged structural position within the clause or both.

Austronesian alignment is best known from the languages of the Philippines, but is also found in Taiwan's Formosan languages, as well as in Borneo, Northern Sulawesi, and Madagascar, and has been reconstructed for the ancestral Proto-Austronesian language.

The examples[2] below are in Proto-Austronesian. Asterisks indicate a reconstruction. The voice affix on the verb appears in red text, while the subject, which the affix selects, appears in underlined bold italics. Four voices have been reconstructed for Proto-Austronesian: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger and Instrument Trigger.

(1) Agent Trigger
K‹um›aen   Semay   Cau.
AT›eat rice man
"The man is eating some rice."
(2) Patient Trigger
Kaen-en   nu   Cau   Semay.
eat-PT ERG man rice
"A/the man is eating the rice."
(or "The rice is being eaten by a/the man.")
(3) Locative Trigger
Kaen-an   nu   Cau   Semay   Rumaq.
eat-LT ERG man rice house
"The man is eating rice in the house."
(or "The house is being eaten rice in by the man.")
(4) Instrument Trigger
Si-kaen   nu   Cau   Semay   lima-ni-á.
IT-eat ERG man rice hand-GEN-3SG
"The man is eating rice with his hand."
(or "Hisi hand is being eaten rice with by the mani.")

Description[edit]

Whereas most languages have two voices which are used to track referents in discourse, a transitive 'active' voice and an intransitive 'passive' or 'antipassive' voice, prototypical Philippine languages have two voices, which are both transitive. One of the two Philippine voices is similar, in form, to the active voice of ergative–absolutive languages, and the other is similar to the active voice of nominative–accusative languages. They perform functions similar to the active and passive/antipassive voices, respectively, in those languages.

The ergative-like Philippine voice used to be often called the "passive," and the accusative-like voice has often been called the "active." However, that terminology is misleading and now deprecated, partly because the "passive" is the default voice in Austronesian languages, and a true passive is a secondary voice; however, no substitute terms have been widely accepted. Among the more common terms proposed are patient trigger (the ergative-like voice) and agent trigger (the accusative-like voice), which will be used here. The phrases are taken from the terms 'agent' and 'patient', which are used in semantics for the acting and acted-upon participants in a transitive clause.

The three types of voice system and the grammatical cases of their core arguments can be contrasted as follows:

Morphological alignment Case of basic intransitive clause Cases of basic transitive clause Cases of the secondary voice
Accusative
(as most European languages)
nominative
(same case as Agent)
Active voice Passive voice
nominative (Agent) nominative (Patient)
accusative (Patient)
Ergative
(as most Australian languages)
absolutive
(same case as Patient)
Active voice Antipassive voice
absolutive (Patient) absolutive (Agent)
ergative (Agent)
Austronesian
(as most Philippine languages)
"direct"
(the case common to the two transitive voices)
Patient trigger Agent trigger
"direct" (Patient) "direct" (Agent)
ergative (Agent) accusative (Patient)

The Philippine cases are only approximately equivalent to their namesakes in other languages and so are placed in quotes. ("Direct," as used here, is commonly called "nominative" or "absolutive", for example.) The "ergative" case is identical in form to the Philippine genitive case, but it is common in ergative languages for the ergative case to have the form of an oblique case like the genitive or the locative case.

The reconstructed Proto-Malayo-Polynesian examples below[3] illustrate the Philippine system. (Asterisks indicate a reconstruction.) The unmarked clause order was to have the verb first and the "direct" phrase last. The voice was indicated by an affix to the verb (infix -um- for agent trigger and suffix -ən for patient trigger). In modern Philippine languages, the practical effect of the voice distinction is rather like the difference between sentences with definite patients and sentences with indefinite patients (i.e., the use of a and the with direct objects) in English, and it is assumed to have played a similar role in the protolanguage.

In the example in (1) below, the agent a manuk "the chicken" is in sentence-final, subject position. The verb appears with the -um- agent trigger infix. In (2), however, the patient a wai "the mango" is in subject position, and the verb is marked with the -ən patient trigger suffix. Note that, in (1), the patient ta wai translates to "a mango".

(1) Agent Trigger
  *k‹um›aRat   ta   wai   a   manuk.
AT›bite ACC mango DIR chicken
"The chicken is biting a mango."
(2) Patient Trigger
  *kaRat-ən   na   manuk   a   wai.
bite-PT ERG chicken DIR mango
"The chicken is biting the mango."
(or "The mango is being bitten by the chicken.")

Philippine-type languages have more than two voices. Beside the ones shown above, there would be also locative and benefactive voices. The locative trigger is illustrated below in (3); the -an suffix on the verb selects a kahiw "the tree", which is the location of the action, as the subject:

(3) Locative Trigger
  *kaʔən-an   na   manuk   a   kahiw.
eat-LT ERG chicken DIR tree
"The chicken is eating in the tree."
(or "The tree is being eaten in by the chicken.")

Examples[edit]

The various Austronesian languages sampled below demonstrate that the number of voices differs from language to language. While the majority sampled have four voices, it is possible to have as few as three voices, and as many as six voices. In the examples below, the voice affix on the verb appears in red text, while the subject, which the affix selects, appears in underlined bold italics.

Formosan[edit]

The data below come from Formosan primarily spoken in Taiwan.

Hla’alua[edit]

Hla’alua[4][5] has three voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger and Circumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger suffix selects for locative and theme subjects.

While bound pronouns have a direct case form, nouns do not bear a special direct case marker for subjects in Hla’alua.

(1) Agent Voice
Hli-um-u=cu=aku   hlavate   usua.
ASP-AT-eat=ASP=1SG.DIR guava two
"I have eaten two guavas."
(2) Patient Trigger
Hli-paipekel-a=cu   a   Eleke   a   tangusuhlu=na.
ASP-mould-PT=ASP DET Eleke DET rice.cake=DEF
"Eleke has moulded the rice cake."
(or "The rice cake has been moulded by Eleke.")
(3) a.   Circumstantial Trigger (with locative subject)
Hli-aala-ana   ’Angai   vutukuhlu   a   hluuhlungu=na.
ASP-take-CT ’Angai fish DET stream=DEF
"’Angai has caught fish in the stream."
(or "The stream has been caught fish in by ’Angai.")
(3) b.   Circumstantial Trigger (with theme subject)
Hli-aala-ana=ku   a   vahlituku-isa   ama’a.
ASP-take-CT=1SG.ERG DET money-3 father
"I have taken father's money."
(or "Father's money has been taken by me.")

Kavalan[edit]

Kavalan[6] has three voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger and Circumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger prefix selects for instrument and benefactee subjects.

The direct case morpheme, which marks the subject in Kavalan, is ya.

(1) Agent Trigger
Q‹em›al   tu   rasung   ya   sunis.
AT›dig ACC well DIR child
"The child dug a well."
(2) Patient Trigger
Qal-an   na   sunis   ya   rasung.
dig-PT ERG child DIR well
"The child dug the well."
(or The well was dug by the child.")
(3) a.   Circumstantial Trigger (with instrument subject)
Ti-tangan=ku   tu   ineb   ya   suqsuq.
CT-open=1SG.ERG ACC door DIR key
"I opened the door with the key."
(or "The key was opened the door with by me.")
(3) b.   Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
Ti-sammay   na   tama=ku   ya   tina=ku.
CT-cook ERG father=1SG.GEN DIR mother-1SG.GEN
"My father cooked for my mother."
(or "My mother was cooked for by my father.")

Paiwan[edit]

Paiwan[7] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger, and Instrument Trigger.

The direct case morpheme, which marks the subject in Paiwan, is a.

(1) Agent Trigger
Q‹m›ałup   a   tsautsau   tua   vavuy   i   (tua)   gadu   tua   vuluq.
AT›hunt DIR man OBL pig PREP (OBL) mountain OBL spear
"The man hunts the pigs in the mountains with a spear."
(2) Patient Trigger
Qałup-en   nua   tsautsau   a   vavuy   i   (tua)   gadu   tua   vuluq.
hunt-PT ERG man DIR pig PREP (OBL) mountain OBL spear
"The man hunts the pigs in the mountains with a spear."
(or "The pigs are hunted by the man in the mountains with a spear.")
(3) Locative Trigger
Qałup-an   nua   tsautsau   tua   vavuy   a   gadu   tua   vuluq.
hunt-LT ERG man OBL pig DIR mountain OBL spear
"The man hunts the pigs in the mountains with a spear."
(or "The mountains are hunted the pigs in by the man with a spear.")
(4) Instrument Trigger
Si-qałup   nua   tsautsau   tua   vavuy   i   (tua)   gadu   a   vuluq.
IT-hunt ERG man OBL pig PREP (OBL) mountain DIR spear
"The man hunts the pigs in the mountains with a spear."
(or "The spear is hunted the pigs with by the man in the mountains.")

Pazeh[edit]

Pazeh[8], which became extinct in 2010, had four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger, and Instrument Trigger.

The direct case morpheme, which marks the subject in Pazeh, is ki.

(1) Agent Trigger
Mu-ngazip   yaku   ki   wazu.
AT-bite 1SG DIR dog
"The dog bit me."
(2) Patient Trigger
Ngazib-en   wazu   lia   ki   rakihan.
bite-PT dog ASP DIR child
"A dog bit the child."
(or The child was bitten by a dog.")
(3) Locative Trigger
Pu-batu’-an   lia   ki   babaw   daran.
pave-stone-LT ASP DIR surface road
"The road surface was paved with stones."
(4) Instrument Trigger
Saa-talek   alaw   ki   bulayan.
IT-cook fish DIR pan
"The pan was cooked fish with."

Puyuma[edit]

Puyuma[9] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger, and Circumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger suffix selects for benefactee and instrument subjects.

The direct case morpheme, which marks the subject in Puyuma, is na or i.

(1) Agent Trigger
Tr‹em›akaw   dra   paisu   i   Isaw.
AT.RL›steal ACC money DIR Isaw
"Isaw stole money."
(2) Patient Trigger
Tu=trakaw-aw   na   paisu   kan   Isaw.
3.ERG=steal-PT.RL DIR money ERG Isaw
"Isaw stole the money."
(or "The money was stolen by Isaw.")
(3) Locative Trigger
Tu=trakaw-ay=ku   dra   paisu   kan   Isaw.
3.ERG=steal-LT.RL=1SG.DIR ACC money ERG Isaw
"Isaw stole money from me."
(or "I was stolen money from by Isaw.")
(4) a.   Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
Tu=trakaw-anay   i   tinataw   dra   paisu.
3.ERG=steal-CT.RL DIR his.mother ACC money
"He stole money for his mother."
(or "Hisi mother was stolen money for by himi.")
(4) b.   Circumstantial Trigger (with instrument subject)[10]
Ku=dirus-anay   na   enay   kan   Aliwaki.
1SG.ERG=wash-CT.RL DIR water ACC Aliwaki
"I washed Aliwaki with water."
(or "The water was washed Aliwaki with by me.")

Seediq[edit]

The two dialects of Seediq presented below each have a different number of voices. The direct case morpheme, which marks the subject in both dialects, is ka.

Tgdaya Seediq[edit]

The Tgdaya dialect[11] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger and Instrument Trigger.

(1) Agent Trigger
S‹em›ebuc   ricah   ka   Pawan.
AT›hit plum DIR Pawan
"Pawan is hitting plums."
(2) Patient Trigger
Sebet-un   na   Pawan   ka ricah.
hit-PT ERG Pawan DIR plum
"Pawan is hitting the plum."
(or "The plum is being hit by Pawan.")
(3) Locative Trigger
Sebet-an   na   Pawan   ricah   ka   peepah.
hit-LT ERG Pawan plum DIR farm.field
"Pawan is hitting plums in the farm field."
(or "The farm field is being hit plums in by Pawan.")
(4) Instrument Trigger
Se-sebuc   na   Pawan   ricah   ka   butakan.
IT-hit ERG Pawan plum DIR stick
"Pawan is hitting plums with the stick."
(or "The stick is being hit plums with by Pawan.")
Truku Seediq[edit]

The Truku dialect[12] has three voices: Agent Trigger, Goal Trigger, and Circumstantial Trigger.

The goal trigger suffix selects for patient and location subjects. The circumstantial trigger prefix selects for benefactee and instrument subjects.

(1) Agent Trigger
K‹em›erut   babuy   ka   Masaw.
AT›cut pig DIR Masaw
"Masaw slaughters a/the pig."
(2) a. Goal Trigger (with patient subject)
Keret-an   Masaw   ka   babuy.
cut-GT Masaw DIR pig
"Masaw slaughters the pig."
(or "The pig is slaughtered by Masaw.")
(2) b. Goal Trigger (with location subject)
Keret-an   laqi   sagas   ka   keti’inuh   ni’i.
cut-GT child watermelon DIR board this
"The child cuts watermelon on this board."
(or "This board is cut watermelon on by the child.")
(3) a. Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
Se-kerut   babuy   Masaw   ka   baki.
CT-cut pig Masaw DIR old.man
"Masaw slaughters a/the pig for the old man."
(or "The old man is slaughtered a/the pig for by Masaw.")
(3) b. Circumstantial Trigger (with instrument subject)
Se-kerut   babuy   Masaw   ka   puting.
CT-cut pig Masaw DIR knife
"Masaw slaughters a/the pig with the knife."
(or "The knife is slaughtered a/the pig with by Masaw.")

Squliq Atayal[edit]

Squliq Atayal[13] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger, and Circumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger prefix selects for benefactee and instrument subjects.

The direct case morpheme in Squliq Atayal is qu’.

(1) Agent Trigger
M-aniq   qulih   qu’   Tali’.
AT-eat fish DIR Tali
"Tali eats fish."
(2) Patient Trigger
Niq-un   na’   Tali’   qu’   qulih   qasa.
eat-PT ERG Tali DIR fish that
"Tali eats that fish."
(or "That fish is eaten by Tali.")
(3) Locative Trigger
Niq-an   na’   Tali’   qulih   qu’   ngasal   qasa.
eat-LT ERG Tali fish DIR house that
"Tali eats fish in that house."
(or "That house is eaten fish in by Tali.")
(4) a. Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
S-qaniq   na’   Tali’   qulih   qu’   Sayun.
CT-eat ERG Tali fish DIR Sayun
"Tali eats fish for Sayun."
(or "Sayun is eaten fish for by Tali.")
(4) b. Circumstantial Trigger (with instrument subject)
S-qaniq   na’   Tali’   qulih   qu’   qway.
CT-eat ERG Tali fish DIR chopsticks
"Tali eats fish with chopsticks."
(or "Chopsticks are eaten fish with by Tali.")

Tsou[edit]

Tsou[14] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger, and Benefactive Trigger. In addition to the voice morphology on the main verb, auxiliary verbs in Tsou, which are obligatory in the sentence[15], are also marked for voice. However, auxiliaries only differentiate between agent trigger and non-agent trigger[16] (in pink text).

The direct case morpheme, which marks subjects in Tsou, is ’o.

(1) Agent Trigger
Mi-’o   mo-si   to   peisu   ne   Nookay.
AUX.AT-1SG.DIR AT-put OBL money OBL Nookay
"I deposit money in Nookay."
(2) Patient Trigger
Os-’o   si-a   to   panka   ’o   peisu.
AUX.NAT-1SG.ERG put-PT OBL table DIR money
"I put the money on the/a table."
(or "The money was put on the/a table by me.")
(3) Locative Trigger
Os-’o   si-i   to   chumu   ’o   kopu.
AUX.NAT-1SG.ERG put-LT OBL water DIR cup
"I put water into the cup."
(or "The cup was put water into by me.")
(4) Benefactive Trigger[17]
Os-’o   si-i-neni   to   ocha   ’o   Pasuya.
AUX.NAT-1SG.ERG put-LT-BT OBL tea DIR Pasuya
"I served tea for Pasuya."
(or "Pasuya was served tea for by me.")

Philippine[edit]

The data below come from Philippine languages, a subgroup under Malayo-Polynesian, predominantly spoken across the Philippines, with some found on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia.

Blaan[edit]

Blaan[18][19][20] has three voices: Agent Trigger, Goal Trigger, and Instrument Trigger.

The goal trigger voice selects for patient and location subjects.

Agent Prefocus Base[21] Goal Prefocus Base[22] Instrument Prefocus Base[23]
(1) Agent Trigger (intransitive) (1) Agent Trigger (1) Agent Trigger
Stifun   ale.                       M-bat   agu   bula.                   K‹am›lang agu kayu.
assemble 3PL.DIR                       AT-throw 1SG.DIR ball AT›cut 1SG.DIR tree
"They assemble." "I throw the ball." "I cut the tree."
(2) Agent Trigger (transitive) (2) Goal Trigger (with patient subject) (2) Goal Trigger (with patient subject)
S‹am›tifun   ale   dad   to.               Bat=gu   bula.                   K‹an›lang=gu kayu.
AT›assemble 3PL.DIR PL person throw=1SG.ERG ball NAT›cut=1SG.ERG tree
"They assemble the people." "I throw the ball" "I cut the tree."
"They assemble the people" (or "The ball is thrown by me.") (or "The tree is cut by me.")
(3) Goal Trigger (with patient subject) (3) Goal Trigger (with location subject) (3) Instrument Trigger
S‹an›tifun=la dad to. N-bat=gu   bula   diding.               Klang=gu kayu falakol.
NAT›assemble=3PL.ERG PL person NAT-throw=1SG.ERG ball wall cut=1SG.ERG tree hatchet
"They assemble the people." "I throw the ball at the wall." "I cut the tree with the hatchet."
(or "The people are assembled by them.") (or "The wall is thrown the ball at by me.") (or "The hatchet is cut the tree with by me.")

Cebuano[edit]

Cebuano[24] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Circumstantial Trigger, and Instrument Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger suffix selects for location, benefactee and goal subjects.

The direct case morpheme, which marks the subject in Cebuano, is ang or si.

(1) Agent Trigger
Mo-luto’   si   Maria   ug   kalamay   para   kang   Pedro.
AT-cook DIR Maria ACC type.of.dessert for OBL Pedro
"Maria will cook kalamay for Pedro."
(2) Patient Trigger
Luto’-on   sa   babaye   ang   bugas   sa   lata.
cook-PT ERG woman DIR rice OBL can
"The woman will cook the rice in the can."
(or "The rice will be cooked by the woman in the can.")
(3) a.   Circumstantial Trigger (with location subject)
Luto’-an   sa   babaye   ang   lata   ug   bugas.
cook-CT ERG woman DIR can ACC rice
"The woman will cook rice in the can."
(or "The can will be cooked rice in by the woman.")
(3) b.   Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
Luto’-an   ni   Maria   si   Pedro   ug   kalamay.
cook-CT ERG Maria DIR Pedro ACC type.of.dessert
"Maria will cook Pedro kalamay."
(or "Pedro will be cooked kalamay for by Maria.")
(3) c.   Circumstantial Trigger (with goal subject)
Sulat-an   ni   Inday   si   Perla   ug   sulat.
write-CT ERG Inday DIR Perla ACC letter
"Inday will write Perla a letter."
(or "Perla will be written a letter to by Inday.")
(4) Instrument Trigger
I-sulat   ni   Linda   ang   lapis   ug   sulat.
IT-write ERG Linda DIR pencil ACC letter
"Linda will write a letter with the pencil."
(or "The pencil will be written a letter with by Linda.")

Kalagan[edit]

Kalagan[25] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Instrument Trigger, and Circumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger suffix selects for benefactee and location subjects.

The direct case morpheme, which marks the subject in Kalagan, is ya. The direct case form of the first person, singular pronoun is aku, whereas the ergative case form is ku.

(1) Agent Trigger
K‹um›amang   aku   sa   tubig   na   lata   kan   Ma’   adti   balkon   na   lunis.
AT›get 1SG.DIR OBL water PREP can for Dad on porch PREP Monday
"I will get the water with the can for Dad on the porch on Monday."
(2) Patient Trigger
Kamang-in   ku   ya   tubig   na   lata   kan   Ma’   adti   balkon   na   lunis.
get-PT 1SG.ERG DIR water PREP can for Dad on porch PREP Monday
"I will get the water with the can for Dad on the porch on Monday."
(or "The water will be gotten by me with the can for Dad on the porch on Monday.")
(3) Instrument Trigger
Pag-kamang   ku   ya   lata   sa   tubig   kan   Ma’   adti   balkon   na   lunis.
IT-get 1SG.ERG DIR can OBL water for Dad on porch PREP Monday
"I will get the water with the can for Dad on the porch on Monday."
(or "The can will be gotten the water with by me for Dad on the porch on Monday.")
(4) a.   Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
Kamang-an   ku   ya   Ma’   sa   tubig   na   lata   adti   balkon   na   lunis.
get-CT 1SG.ERG DIR Dad OBL water PREP can on porch PREP Monday
"I will get the water with the can for Dad on the porch on Monday."
(or "Dad will be gotten the water for by me with the can on the porch on Monday.")
(4) b.   Circumstantial Trigger (with location subject)
Kamang-an   ku   ya   balkon   sa   tubig   na   lata   kan   Ma’   na   lunis.
get-CT 1SG.ERG DIR porch OBL water PREP can for Dad PREP Monday
"I will get the water with the can for Dad on the porch on Monday."
(or "The porch will be gotten the water from by me with the can for Dad on Monday.")

Kapampangan[edit]

Kapampangan[26] has five voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Goal Trigger, Locative Trigger, and Cirumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger prefix selects for instrument and benefactee subjects.

The direct case morpheme in Kapampangan is ing, which marks singular subjects, and reng, which is for plural subjects. Non-subject agents are marked with ergative case, ning, while non-subject patients are marked with accusative case, -ng, which is cliticized onto the preceding word.[27]

(1) Agent Trigger
S‹um›ulat   yang   poesia   ing   lalaki   king   pen   king   papil.
ya=ng
AT›will.write 3SG.DIR=ACC poem DIR boy OBL pen OBL paper
"The boy will write a poem with a pen on the paper."
(2) Patient Trigger
I-sulat   ne   ning   lalaki   ing   poesia   king   mestra.
na+ya
PT-will.write 3SG.ERG+3SG.DIR ERG boy DIR poem OBL teacher.F
"The boy will write the poem to the teacher."
(or "The poem will be written by boy to the teacher.")
(3) Goal Trigger
Sulat-anan   ne   ning   lalaki   ing   mestro.
na+ya
will.write-GT 3SG.ERG+3SG.DIR ERG boy DIR teacher.M
"The boy will write to the teacher."
(or "The teacher will be written to by the boy.")
(4) Locative Trigger
Pi-sulat-an   neng   poesia   ning   lalaki   ing   blackboard.
na+ya=ng
LT-will.write-LT 3SG.ERG+3SG.DIR=ACC poem ERG boy DIR blackboard
"The boy will write a poem on the blackboard."
(or "The blackboard will be written a poem on by the boy.")
(5) a.   Circumstantial Trigger (with instrument subject)
Panyulat   neng   poesia   ning   lalaki   ing   pen.
paN-sulat na+ya=ng
CT-will.write 3SG.ERG+3SG.DIR=ACC poem ERG boy DIR pen
"The boy will write a poem with the pen."
(or "The pen will be written a poem with by the boy.")
(5) b.   Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
Pamasa   nong   libru   ning   babai   reng   anak.
paN-basa na+la=ng
CT-will.read 3SG.ERG+3PL.DIR=ACC book ERG woman PL.DIR child
"The woman will read a book for the children."
(or "The children will be read a book for by the woman.")

Limos Kalinga[edit]

Limos Kalinga[28] has five voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Location Trigger, Benefactive Trigger and Instrument Trigger.

Except for when the subject is the agent, the subject is found directly after the agent in the clause.

(1) Agent Trigger
Nandalus   si   Malia=t   danat   palatu.
n-man-dalus
ASP-AT-wash DIR Malia=OBL PL plate
"Malia washed some plates."
(2) Patient Trigger[29]
B‹in›ayu-=m   din   pagoy.
ASP›pound-PT=2SG.ERG DIR rice
"You pounded the rice."
(or "The rice was pounded by you.")
(3) Location Trigger
D‹in›alus-an   ud   Malia   danat   palatu.
ASP›wash-LT ERG Malia DIR.PL plate
"Malia washed the plates."
(or "The plates were washed by Malia.")
(4) Benefactive Trigger
I-n-dalus-an   ud   Malia   si   ina=na=t   nat   palatu.
BT-ASP-wash-BT ERG Malia DIR mother=3SG.GEN=OBL SG plate
"Malia washed a plate for her mother."
(or "Heri mother was washed a plate for by Maliai.")
(5) Instrument Trigger
I-n-dalus   ud   Malia   nat   sabun   sinat   palatu.
IT-ASP-wash ERG Malia DIR soap OBL.SG plate
"Malia washed a plate with the soap."
(or "The soap was washed a plate with by Malia.")

Maranao[edit]

Maranao[30] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Circumstantial Trigger, and Instrument Trigger.

The circumstantial suffix selects for benefactee and location subjects.

The direct case morpheme, which marks the subject in Maranao, is so.

(1) Agent Trigger
S‹om›ombali’   so   mama’   sa   karabao   ko   maior.
AT›butcher DIR man OBL water.buffalo PREP mayor
"The man will butcher water buffalo for the mayor."
(2) Patient Trigger
Sombali’-in   o   mama’   so   karabao.
butcher-PT ERG man DIR water.buffalo
"The man will butcher the water buffalo."
(or "The water buffalo will be butchered by the man.")
(3) a.   Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
Sombali’-an   o   mama’   so   maior   sa   karabao.
butcher-CT ERG man DIR mayor OBL water.buffalo
"The man will butcher water buffalo for the mayor."
(or "The mayor will be butchered water buffalo for by the man.")
(3) b.   Circumstantial Trigger (with location subject)
Koaq-an   o   mama’   sa   bolong   so   tinda.
get-CT ERG man OBL medicine DIR store
"The man will get the medicine at/from the store."
(or "The store will be gotten medicine at/from by the man.")
(4) Instrument Trigger
I-sombali’   o   mama’   so   gelat   ko   karabao.
butcher-IT ERG man DIR knife PREP water.buffalo
"The man will butcher the water buffalo with the knife."
(or "The knife will be butchered the water buffalo with by the man.")

Tagalog[edit]

Tagalog has six voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger, Benefactive Trigger, Instrument Trigger, and Reason Trigger.

The locative trigger suffix selects for location and goal subjects. (In the examples below, the goal subject and the benefactee subject are the same noun phrase.)

The reason trigger prefix can only be affixed to certain roots, the majority of which are for emotion verbs (e.g., galit "be angry", sindak "be shocked"). However, verb roots such as matay "die", sakit "get sick", and iyak "cry" may also be marked with the reason trigger prefix.

The direct case morpheme, which marks subjects in Tagalog, is ang. The indirect case morpheme, ng /naŋ/, which is the conflation of the ergative and accusative cases seen in Proto-Malayo-Polynesian, marks non-subject agents and non-subject patients.

(1) Agent Trigger
B‹um›ili   ng   mangga   sa   palengke   para   sa   ale   sa   pamamagitan   ng   pera   ang   mama.
ASP.AT›buy IND mango OBL market for OBL woman OBL means IND money DIR man
"The man bought a mango at the market for the woman by means of money."
(2) Patient Trigger[31]
B‹in›ili-   ng   mama   sa   palengke   para   sa   ale   sa   pamamagitan   ng   pera   ang   mangga.
ASP›buy-PT IND man OBL market for OBL woman OBL means IND money DIR mango
"The man bought the mango at the market for the woman by means of money."
(or "The mango was bought by the man at the market for the woman by means of money.")
(3) a. Locative Trigger (with location subject)
B‹in›ilh-an   ng   mama   ng   mangga   para   sa   ale   sa   pamamagitan   ng   pera   ang   palengke.
ASP›buy-LT IND man IND mango for OBL woman OBL means IND money DIR market
"The man bought a mango at the market for the woman by means of money."
(or "The market was bought a mango at by the man for the woman by means of money.")
(3) b. Locative Trigger (with goal subject)
B‹in›ilh-an   ng   mama   ng   mangga   sa   palengke   sa   pamamagitan   ng   pera   ang   ale.
ASP›buy-LT IND man IND mango OBL market OBL means IND money DIR woman
"The man bought a mango at the market for the woman by means of money."
(or "The woman was bought a mango for by the man at the market by means of money.")
(4) Benefactive Trigger
I-b‹in›ili   ng   mama   ng   mangga   sa   palengke   sa   pamamagitan   ng   pera   ang   ale.
BT-‹ASP›buy IND man IND mango OBL market OBL means IND money DIR woman
"The man bought a mango at the market for the woman by means of money."
(or "The woman was bought a mango for by the man at the market by means of money.")
(5) Instrument Trigger
Ipinambili   ng   mama   ng   mangga   sa   palengke   para   sa   ale   ang   pera.
Ip‹in›aN-bili
ASPIT-buy IND man IND mango OBL market for OBL woman DIR money
"The man bought a mango at the market for the woman by means of money."
(or "The money was bought a mango with by the man at the market for the woman.")
(6) a. Reason Trigger[32]
Ik‹in›a-iyak   ng   bata   ang   pag-kagat   sa   kaniya   ng   langgam.
ASPRT-cry IND child DIR NMLZ-bite OBL 3SG.OBL IND ant
"The child cried because an/the ant bit him."
(or "An/the ant's biting of him was cried about by the child.")
(6) b. Agent Trigger
Um›iyak   ang   bata   dahil   k‹in›agat-   siya   ng   langgam.
ASP.AT›cry DIR child because ASP›bite-PT 3SG.DIR IND ant
"The child cried because an/the ant bit him."
(or "The child cried because he was bitten by an/the ant.")

Tondano[edit]

Tondano[33] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger, and Circumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger selects for instrument and benefactee subjects.

The subject is found in sentence-initial position, before the verb.

(1) Agent Trigger
Si   tuama   k‹um›eoŋ   roda   wo   n-tali   waki   pasar.
AN.SG man AT›will.pull cart with INAN-rope to market
"The man will pull the cart with the rope to the market."
(2) Patient Trigger
Roda   keoŋ-ən   ni   tuama   wo   n-tali   waki   pasar.
cart will.pull-PT ERG.AN.SG man with INAN-rope to market
"The man will pull the cart with the rope to the market."
(or "The cart will be pulled with rope to the market by the man.")
(3) Locative Trigger
Pasar   keoŋ-an   ni   tuama   roda   wo   n-tali.
market will.pull-LT ERG.AN.SG man cart with INAN-rope
"The man will pull the cart with the rope to the market."
(or "The market will be pulled the cart to with the rope by the man.")
(4) a.   Circumstantial Trigger (with instrument subject)
Tali   i-keoŋ   ni   tuama   roda   waki   pasar.
rope CT-will.pull ERG.AN.SG man cart to market
"The man will pull the cart with the rope to the market."
(or "The rope will be pulled the cart with to the market by the man.")
(4) b. Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
Se   okiʔ   i-lutuʔ   ni   mama   seraʔ
AN.PL child CT-will.cook ERG.AN.SG mother fish
"Mother will cook fish for the children."
(or "The children will be cooked fish for by mother.")

Bornean[edit]

The data below come from Bornean languages, a geographic grouping under Malayo-Polynesian, mainly spoken on the island of Borneo, spanning administrative areas of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Kadazan Dusun[edit]

Kadazan Dusun[34] has three voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger and Benefactive Trigger.

The direct case morpheme, which marks the subject in Kadazan Dusun, is i.

(1) Agent Trigger
Mog-ovit   i   ama’   di   tanak   do   buuk.
AT-bring DIR father IND child ACC book
"Father is bringing the child a book."
(2) Patient Trigger
Ovit-on   di   ama’   di   tanak   i   buuk.
bring-PT IND father IND child DIR book
"Father is bringing the child the book."
(or "The book is being brought to the child by Father.")
(3) Benefactive Trigger
Ovit-an   di   ama’   i   tanak   do   buuk.
bring-BT IND father DIR child ACC book
"Father is bringing the child a book."
(or "The child is being brought a book to by Father.")

Kelabit[edit]

Kelabit[35] has three voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger and Instrument Trigger.

Unlike other languages presented here, Kelabit does not use case-marking or word-ordering strategies to indicate the subject of the clause[36]. However, certain syntactic processes, such as relativization, target the subject. Relativizing non-subjects results in ungrammatical sentences.[37].

(1) Agent Trigger
La’ih   sineh   nenekul   nubaq   nedih   ngen   seduk.
in-N-tekul
man that ASP-AT-spoon.up rice 3SG.GEN with spoon
"That man spooned his rice up with a spoon."
(2) Patient Trigger[38]
Sikul   la’ih   sineh   nubaq   nedih   ngen   seduk.
t‹in›ekul-
ASP›spoon.up-PT man that rice 3SG.GEN with spoon.
"That man spooned his rice up with a spoon."
(or "Hisi rice was spooned up with a spoon by that mani.")
(3) Instrument Trigger
Seduk   penenekul   la’ih   sineh   nubaq   nedih.
p<in>eN-tekul
spoon <ASP>IT-spoon.up man that rice 3SG.GEN
"That man spooned his rice up with a spoon."
(or "A spoon was spooned hisi rice up with by that mani.")

Kimaragang[edit]

Kimaragang[39] has five voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Benefactive Trigger, Instrument Trigger and Locative Trigger.

Only intransitive verbs can be marked with the locative trigger suffix[40], which looks similar to the patient trigger suffix[41].

The direct case marker, which marks the subject in Kimaragang, is it for definite nouns and ot for indefinite nouns.

(1) Agent Trigger
Mangalapak   oku   do   niyuw.
m-poN-lapak
AT-TR-split 1SG.DIR IND.INDF coconut
"I will split a coconut/some coconuts."
(2) Patient Trigger
Lapak-on   ku   it   niyuw.
split-PT 1SG.IND DIR.DEF coconut
"I will split the coconuts."
(or "The coconuts will be split by me.")
(3) Benefactive Trigger
Lapak-an   ku   do   niyuw   it   wogok.
split-BT 1SG.IND IND.INDF coconut DIR.DEF pig
"I will split some coconuts for the pigs."
(or "The pigs will be split some coconuts for by me.")
(4) Instrument Trigger[42][43]
Tongo   ot   pangalapak   nu   dilo’   niyuw   ______?
-poN-lapak
what DIR.INDF IT-TR-split 2SG.IND that.IND coconut DIR
"What will you split those coconuts with?"
(or "The thing that will be split those coconuts with by you is what?")
(5) Locative Trigger[44]
Siombo   ot   ogom-on   ku   _____?
where DIR.INDF sit-LT 1SG.IND DIR
"Where shall I sit?"
(or "The thing that will be sat upon by me is where?")

Barito[edit]

The data below represent the Barito languages, and are from a language spoken on Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa. Other languages from Barito are spoken in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Malagasy[edit]

Malagasy[45] has three voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, and Circumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger suffix selects for instrument and benefactee subjects.

Malagasy does not have a direct case marker. However, the subject is found in sentence-final position.

(1) Agent Trigger
Mamono   akoho   amin'ny   antsy   ny   mpamboly.
m-aN-vono
AT-TR-kill chicken with'DET knife DET farmer
"The farmer kills chickens with the knife."
(2) Patient Trigger
Vonoin'ny   mpamboly   amin'ny   antsy   ny   akoho.
vono-ina'ny
kill-PT'DET farmer with'DET knife DET chicken
"The farmer kills the chickens with the knife."
(or "The chickens are killed with the knife by the farmer.")
(3) a.   Circumstantial Trigger (with instrument subject)
Amonoan'ny   mpamboly   akoho   ny   antsy.
aN-vono-ana'ny
TR-kill-CT'DET farmer chicken DET knife
"The farmer kills chickens with the knife."
(or "The knife is killed chickens with by the farmer.")
(3) b. Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
Amonoan'ny   mpamboly   akoho   ny   vahiny.
aN-vono-ana'ny
TR-kill-CT'DET farmer chicken DET guest
"The farmer kills chickens for the guests."
(or "The guests are killed chickens for by the farmer.")

Non-Austronesian Examples[edit]

Alignment types resembling Austronesian aligment have been observed in non-Austronesian languages.

Nilotic[edit]

Dinka Bor[edit]

Van Urk (2015) suggests that Dinka Bor, which is a Nilotic language spoken in South Sudan, exhibits Austronesian alignment. This language has three voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, and Circumstantial Trigger.

The subject is found in sentence-initial position, before the verb. The non-finite form of the verb found in the examples[46] below is câam "eat".

(1) Agent Trigger
Àyén   à-c‹à›m   cuî̤in   nè̤   pǎal.
Ayen 3SG-‹AT›eat food PREP knife
"Ayen is eating food with a knife."
(2) Patient Trigger
Cuî̤in   à-c‹ɛ́ɛ›m   Áyèn   nè̤   pǎal.
food 3SG-‹PT›eat Ayen.ERG PREP knife
"Ayen is eating food with a knife."
(or "Food is being eaten by Ayen with a knife.")
(3) Circumstantial Trigger[47]
Pǎal   à-c‹ɛ́ɛ›m-è̤   Áyèn   cuî̤in.
knife 3SG-‹PT›eat-CT Ayen.ERG food
"Ayen is eating food with a knife."
(or "The knife is being eaten food with by Ayen.")

Notes[edit]

Glosses[edit]

Here is a list of the abbreviations used in the glosses:

1   first person     DET   determiner     M   masculine
2   second person     DIR   direct case     NAT   non-agent trigger
3   third person     ERG   ergative case     NMLZ   nominalizer
ACC   accusative case     F   feminine     OBL   oblique case
AN   animate     GEN   genitive case     PL   plural
ASP   aspect     GT   goal trigger     PREP   preposition
AT   agent trigger     INAN   inanimate     PT   patient trigger
AUX   auxiliary verb     IND   indirect case     RL   realis mood
BT   benefactive trigger     INDF   indefinite     RT   reason trigger
CT   circumstantial trigger     IT   instrument trigger     SG   singular
DEF   definite     LT   locative trigger     TR   transitive

Endnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Blust (2013), page 436.
  2. ^ Taken from Blust (2013)'s examples in Table 7.2, (a) sentences. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  3. ^ Taken from Lynch, Ross and Crowley (2002)'s examples on page 59. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  4. ^ Taken from Pan (2012)'s examples in (3.16b), (3.23a), (3.32d) and (3.33a). Glosses and translation modified for the Wikipedia article.
  5. ^ The orthography used in this subsection does not conform to the orthography used in Pan (2012) with respect to the consonant /ɬ/. Whereas Pan (2012) represents this sound as ‹lh›, this sound is represented here as ‹hl› (Pan (2012; page 50)).
  6. ^ Taken from Lee (2016)'s examples in (24), and (25). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  7. ^ Taken from Ross and Teng (2005)'s examples in (2). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  8. ^ Taken from Li (2000)'s examples in (22), (39), and (58), and Li (2002)'s example in (15). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  9. ^ Taken from Aldridge (2015)'s examples in (7), and Cauquelin (1991)'s example on page 44. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  10. ^ While this example may come from Cauquelin (1991), the orthography used here conforms to the orthography used in Aldridge (2015).
  11. ^ Taken from Kuo (2015)'s examples in (2.1) on page 14. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  12. ^ Taken from Tsukida (2012)'s examples in (3). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  13. ^ Taken from Liu (2017)'s examples in (52) to (56). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  14. ^ Taken from Huang and Huang (2007)'s examples in III in the Appendix, pages 449-450. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  15. ^ Zeitoun (2005), page 266
  16. ^ Zeitoun (2005), page 267 ("actor voice" and "undergoer voice", respectively, in her terminology).
  17. ^ In their gloss for this example, Huang and Huang (2007, page 450) suggest that the benefactive trigger suffix attaches to a stem composed of the verb and the locative trigger ("locative voice" in their terminology).
  18. ^ Taken from Abrams (1970)'s examples on page 2. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  19. ^ Abrams (1970, pages 1-2) indicates that Blaan verbs are classified into three types of prefocus bases, each of which has an inherent voice without bearing any voice affixes. An agent prefocus base is a bare verb that is inherently in agent trigger voice. A goal prefocus base is inherently in goal trigger voice, and an instrument prefocus base is inherently in instrument trigger voice.
  20. ^ Blaan has two morphemes which, when attached to a prefocus base, change the inherent voice of the base. These morphemes are the agent trigger affix, m-/-am-, and the non-agent trigger affix, n-/-an- ("subject focus" and "non-subject focus" in Abrams (1970, page 1)'s terminology, respectively).
  21. ^ Abrams (1970, page 2) has not found many examples of an agent prefocus base taking either of the voice-changing morphemes. However, in that rare example in which an agent prefocus base does, both voice-changing morphemes transitivize the intransitive agent prefocus base. In addition, the agent trigger affix keeps the base in agent trigger voice, while the non-agent trigger affix changes the voice of the base to goal trigger voice.
  22. ^ Without any voice-changing morphemes, goal prefocus bases take patient subjects. The agent trigger affix changes the voice of the base to agent trigger voice, allowing the base to take an agent subject. The goal trigger affix allows a goal prefocus base to take location subjects.
  23. ^ The agent trigger affix changes the inherent instrument trigger voice of the base to agent trigger voice, whereas the non-agent trigger affix changes the voice to goal trigger voice.
  24. ^ Taken from Bell (1976)'s examples on pages 8, 9, and 11. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  25. ^ Taken from Travis (2010)'s examples in (46) on page 42. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  26. ^ Taken from Mirikitani (1972)'s examples in (64), (95), (96), (100), (101) and (106). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  27. ^ In the examples, the word to which the accusative case marker attaches is a pronoun or portmanteau pronoun that is obligatorily present in the same clause as the noun with which it is co-referential. In sentences with an agent trigger, the pronoun co-refers with the agent subject. In sentences with a non-agent trigger, the portmanteau pronoun co-refers with both the ergative agent and the non-agent subject, which is marked with direct case.
  28. ^ Taken from Ferreirinho (1993)'s examples in (100), (245), (246), (247) and (248). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  29. ^ The patient trigger suffix surfaces either as -on or as -∅. The choice of allomorph depends on whether or not the verb is marked with the -in- aspectual infix. When the aspectual infix is present, the -∅ allomorph surfaces.
  30. ^ Taken from McKaughan (1962)'s examples on pages 48 and 50, and from McKaughan (1970)'s example in (4). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  31. ^ The patient trigger suffix surfaces either as -in or as -∅. The choice of allomorph depends on whether or not the verb is marked with the -in- aspectual infix. When the aspectual infix is present, the -∅ allomorph surfaces.
  32. ^ The subject in (6a) is the nominalization of the adverbial clause in (6b).
  33. ^ Taken from Sneddon (1970)'s examples on page 13, and from Sneddon (1975)'s example on page 66. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  34. ^ Taken from Hemmings (2016)'s examples in (39), page 270). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  35. ^ Taken from Hemmings (2016)'s examples in (189a-c), page 200. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  36. ^ Hemmings (2016) presents examples in which the subject in patient trigger voice appears before the verb, and in which the subject in agent trigger voice appears after the verb
  37. ^ Hemmings (2016; pages 202-203).
  38. ^ The patient trigger suffix has two allomorphs, -en and -∅. The former occurs in non-perfective contexts, whereas the latter in perfective contexts.
  39. ^ Taken from Kroeger (2005)'s examples in (20a-c), page 405, and from Kroeger (2017)'s examples in (5), (6a) and (7). The orthography used here conforms to the orthography used in Kroeger (2017). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  40. ^ Kroeger (2017), page 5.
  41. ^ According to Kroeger (2005; page 415, table (45)), the patient trigger suffix has two allomorphs, -on and -∅. The former occurs in non-past contexts, whereas the latter in past contexts. The locative trigger suffix does not exhibit such allomorphy, and can appear in both past and non-past contexts.
  42. ^ According to Kroeger (2010; page 8), the instrument trigger prefix has two allomorphs, i-, and ∅-. The latter surfaces in the presence of the transitivity prefix, poN-.
  43. ^ The sentence in this example exhibits a pseudocleft construction with a relative clause as the subject, and a WH-word as the predicate. The instrument trigger prefix selects a null operator within the relative clause. This null operator serves as the head of the relative clause, which can be interpreted as "the thing that...".
  44. ^ The sentence in this example exhibits a pseudocleft construction with a relative clause as the subject, and a WH-word as the predicate. The locative trigger suffix selects a null operator within the relative clause. This null operator serves as the head of the relative clause, which can be interpreted as "the thing that...".
  45. ^ Taken from Pearson (2005)'s examples in (2) and (10c). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  46. ^ Taken from van Urk (2015)'s example (2) on page 61. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  47. ^ Van Urk (2015, page 69) indicates that the circumstantial trigger suffix is attached to a stem composed of the verb and the patient trigger ("object voice" in van Urk's terminology).

References[edit]

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