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.

Proto-Austronesian

(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.")

Examples[edit]

Below are examples of modern Austronesian languages that exhibit Austronesian alignment. These languages are spoken in Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Madagascar.

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, a geographic grouping of all Austronesian languages that belong outside of Malayo-Polynesian. The Formosan languages are primarily spoken in Taiwan.

Amis[edit]

Amis[3] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger, and Instrument Trigger.

The direct case marker, which marks the subject in Amis, is ku.

(1) Agent Trigger
Miʔaɬup   ku   kapah   tu   vavuy.
m-pi-ʔaɬup
AT-¿?-hunt DIR young man ACC pig
"A young man hunts a pig."
(2) Patient Trigger
Ma-ʔaɬup   nu   kapah   ku   vavuy.
PT-hunt ERG young man DIR pig
"A young man hunts a pig."
(or "A pig is hunted by a young man.)
(3) Locative Trigger
Pi-ʔaɬup-an   nu   kapah   kura   lutuk   tu   vavuy.
¿?-hunt-LT ERG young man that.DIR mountain ACC pig
"A young man hunts a pig on that mountain."
(or "That mountain is hunted a pig on by a young man.")
(4) Instrument Trigger
Sa-pi-ʔaɬup   nu   kapah   ku   ʔiluc   tu   vavuy.
IT-¿?-hunt ERG young man DIR spear ACC pig
"A young man hunts a pig with a spear."
(or "A spear is hunted a pig with by a young man.")

Atayal[edit]

While they both have the same number of voices, the two dialects of Atayal presented below do differ in the shape of the circumstantial trigger prefix. In Mayrinax, the circumstantial trigger prefix is si-, whereas in Squliq, it is s-.

Mayrinax[edit]

Mayrinax[4] 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 Mayrinax is kuʔ.

(1) Agent Trigger
M-aras   cuʔ   qusiaʔ   kuʔ   makurakis.
AT-fetch ACC water DIR girl
"The girl fetches water."
(2) Patient Trigger
Ras-un   nkuʔ   makurakis   kuʔ   qusiaʔ.
fetch-PT ERG girl DIR water
"The girl fetches water."
(or "Water is fetched by the girl.")
(3) Locative Trigger
Ras-an   nkuʔ   makurakis   cuʔ   qusiaʔ   kuʔ   βintaŋ   ka   hani.
fetch-LT ERG girl ACC water DIR water bucket LIG this
"The girl fetches water in this water bucket."
(or "This water bucket is fetched water in by the girl.")
(4) a. Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
Si-ʔaras   nkuʔ   makurakis   cuʔ   qusiaʔ   kuʔ   mamaliku=niaʔ.
CT-fetch ERG girl ACC water DIR husband=3SG.GEN
"The girl fetches water for her husband."
(or "Her husbandi is fetched water for by the girli.")
(4) b. Circumstantial Trigger (with instrument subject)
Si-ʔaras   nkuʔ   makurakis   cuʔ   qusiaʔ   kuʔ   βintaŋ   ka   hani.
CT-fetch ERG girl ACC water DIR water bucket LIG this
"The girl fetches water with this water bucket."
(or "This water bucket is fetched water with by the girl.")
Squliq[edit]

Squliq[5] 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 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.")

Hla’alua[edit]

Hla’alua[6][7] has three voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger and Circumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger suffix selects for location 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 Trigger
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 location 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.")

Kanakanavu[edit]

Kanakanavu[8] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger, and Instrument Trigger.

The direct case morpheme, which optionally marks the subject in Kanakanavu, is sua.

(1) Agent Trigger
K‹um›aʉn   (sua)   ŋiau   tapianaŋai.
AT›eat DIR cat bird
"A cat ate a bird."
(2) Patient Trigger
Cʉʔʉr-ai   maanu   iisi   (sua)   tacau   iisa.
see-PT child this DIR dog that
"This child saw that dog."
(or "That dog was seen by this child.")
(3) Locative Trigger
Riucuucu-an   Mu'u   (sua)   PaicU.
kiss-LT Mu'u DIR PaicU
"Mu'u kissed PaicU."
(or "PaicU was kissed by Mu'u.")
(4) Instrument Trigger
Si-puʔa   maanu-maku   ʔʉnai   sua   vantuku   iisi.
IT-buy child-1SG.GEN land DIR money this
"My child bought land with this money."
(or "This money was bought land with by my child.")

Kavalan[edit]

Kavalan[9] 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[10] 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[11], 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[12] 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)[13]
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[edit]

Tgdaya[14] 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[edit]

Truku[15] 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.")

Tsou[edit]

Tsou[16] 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[17], are also marked for voice. However, auxiliaries only differentiate between agent trigger and non-agent trigger[18] (in green 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[19]
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.")

Batanic[edit]

The data below come from the Batanic languages, a subgroup under Malayo-Polynesian. These languages are spoken on the islands found in the Luzon Strait, between Taiwan and the Philippines.

Ivatan[edit]

Ivatan[20][21] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger, and Circumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger prefix selects for instrument and benefactee subjects.

The direct case morpheme, which marks the subject in Ivatan, is qo.

(1) Agent Trigger
Mangamoqmo   qo   tao   so   motdeh   no   boday   do   vahay.
m-pang-qamoqmo
AT-¿?-frighten DIR man ACC child IND snake OBL house
"The man is frightening a child with a snake in the house."
(2) Patient Trigger
Qamoqmo-hen   no   tao   qo   motdeh   no   boday   do   vahay.
frighten-PT IND man DIR child IND snake OBL house
"The man is frightening a child with a snake in the house."
(or "A child is being frightened with a snake in the house by the man.")
(3) Locative Trigger[22]
Pangamoqmoan   no   tao   so   motdeh   no   boday   qo   vahay.
pang-qamoqmo-an
¿?-frighten-LT IND man ACC child IND snake DIR house
"The man is frightening a child with a snake in the house."
(or "The house is being frightened a child in with a snake by the man.")
(4) a. Circumstantial Trigger (with instrument subject)[23]
Qipangamoqmo   no   tao   so   motdeh   qo   boday   do   vahay.
qi-pang-qamoqmo
CT-¿?-frighten IND man ACC child DIR snake OBL house
"The man is frightening a child with a snake in the house."
(or "The snake is being frightened a child with in the house by the man.")
(4) b. Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)[24]
Qipangamoqmo   no   tao   so   motdeh   no   boday   do   vahay   qo   kayvan-a.
qi-pang-qamoqmo
CT-¿?-frighten IND man ACC child IND snake OBL house DIR friend-3SG.GEN
"The man is frightening a child with a snake in the house for his friend."
(or "Hisi friend is being frightened a child for with a snake in the house by the mani.")

Yami[edit]

Yami[25] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger, and Instrument Trigger.

The direct case morpheme, which marks subjects in Yami, is si for proper names, and o for common nouns.

(1) Agent Trigger
K‹om›an   so   wakay   si   Salang.
AT›eat OBL sweet potato DIR Salang
"Salang ate a sweet potato."
(2) Patient Trigger
Kan-en   na   ni   Salang   o   wakay.
eat-PT 3SG.ERG ERG Salang DIR sweet potato
"Salang ate the sweet potato."
(or "The sweet potato was eaten by Salang.")
(3) Locative Trigger
Ni-akan-an   na   o   mogis   ori   ni   Salang.
ASP-eat-LT 3SG.ERG DIR rice that ERG Salang
"Salang ate from some of that rice."
(or "Some of that rice was eaten from by Salang.")
(4) Instrument Trigger
I-akan   na   ni   Salang   o   among   ya.
IT-eat 3SG.ERG ERG Salang DIR fish this
"Salang ate (a meal) with this fish."
(or "This fish was eaten (a meal) with by Salang.")

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[26][27][28] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Instrument Trigger, and Non-Agent Trigger.

The non-agent trigger affix selects for patient and location subjects, depending on the inherent voice of the verb.

Agent Prefocus Base[29] Patient Prefocus Base[30] Instrument Prefocus Base[31]
(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) Patient Trigger (with patient subject) (2) Non-Agent 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) Non-Agent Trigger (with patient subject) (3) Non-Agent 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[32] 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[33] 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[34] 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.[35]

(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[36] has five voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative 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[37]
Binayum   din   pagoy.
b‹in›ayu-=m
ASP›pound-PT=2SG.ERG DIR rice
"You pounded the rice."
(or "The rice was pounded by you.")
(3) Locative 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[38] 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.")

Palawan[edit]

Palawan[39] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Instrument Trigger, and Circumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger suffix selects for benefactee and location subjects.

(1) Agent Trigger
Mog›lamuʔ   libun   in   ot   lugow   kot   mosakit   sot   apuy.
ASP.AT›cook woman that.DIR IND congee for sick person on fire
"The woman will cook congee on the fire for the sick person."
(2) Patient Trigger
La~lamuʔ-on   ot   libun   lugow   in   kot   mosakit   sot   apuy.
ASP~cook-PT IND woman congee that.DIR for sick person on fire
"The woman will cook the congee on the fire for the sick person."
(or "The congee will be cooked on the fire for the sick person by the woman.")
(3) Instrument Trigger
I-la~lamuʔ   ot   libun   lugow   kot   mosakit   apuy   in.
IT-ASP~cook IND woman congee for sick person fire that.DIR
"The woman will cook congee with the fire for the sick person."
(or "The fire will be cooked congee with for the sick person by the woman.")
(4) a. Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
La~lamuʔ-an   ot   libun   ot   lugow   sot   apuy   mosakit   in.
ASP~cook-CT IND woman IND congee on fire sick person that.DIR
"The woman will cook congee on the fire for the sick person."
(or "The sick person will be cooked congee for on the fire by the woman.")
(4) b. Circumstantial Trigger (with location subject)
La~lamuʔ-an   ot   libun   ot   lugow   kot   mosakit   apuy   in.
ASP~cook-CT IND woman IND congee for sick person fire that.DIR
"The woman will cook congee on the fire for the sick person."
(or "The fire will be cooked congee on for the sick person by the woman.")

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[40]
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[41]
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[42] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Locative Trigger, and Circumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger selects for instrument, benefactee, and theme 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.")
(4) c. Circumstantial Trigger (with theme subject)
Ləloŋkotan   i-wareŋ   ni   tuama   waki   wale.
ladder CT-will.return ERG.AN.SG man to house
"The man will return the ladder to the house."
(or "The ladder will be returned by the man to the house.")

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.

Bonggi[edit]

Bonggi[43][44] has four voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Instrumental Trigger, and Circumstantial Trigger.

The circumstantial trigger suffix selects for benefactee and goal subjects.

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

(1) Agent Trigger
Sia   imagi   louk   nyu.
in-N-bagi
3SG.DIR RL-AT-divide fish 2PL.GEN
"He divided your fish."
(2) Patient Trigger[45]
Louk   nyu   biagi   nya.
b‹in›agi-
fish 2PL.GEN RL›divide-PT 3SG.ERG
"He divided your fish."
(or "Your fish was divided by him.")
(3) Instrument Trigger
Badiʔ   ku   pimagi   nya   louk   nyu.
p‹in›əN-bagi
machete 1SG.GEN RLIT-divide 3SG.ERG fish 2PL.GEN
"He divided your fish with my machete."
(or "My machete was divided your fish with by him.")
(4) a. Circumstantial Trigger (with benefactee subject)
Ou   bigiadn   nya   louk   nyu.
b‹in›agi-adn
1SG.DIR RL›divide-CT 3SG.ERG fish 2PL.GEN
"He divided your fish for me."
(or "I was divided your fish for by him.")
(4) b. Circumstantial Trigger (with goal subject)
Ou   biniriadn   nya   siidn.
b‹in›ori-adn
1SG.DIR RL›give-CT 3SG.ERG money
"He gave money to me."
(or "I was given money to by him.")

Kadazan Dusun[edit]

Kadazan Dusun[46] 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[47] 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[48]. However, certain syntactic processes, such as relativization, target the subject. Relativizing non-subjects results in ungrammatical sentences.[49].

(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[50]
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[51] 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[52], which looks similar to the patient trigger suffix[53].

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[54][55]
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[56]
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?")

Timugon Murut[edit]

Timugon Murut[57] has five voices: Agent Trigger, Patient Trigger, Benefactive Trigger, Instrument Trigger, and Circumstantial Trigger.

There is no direct case marker to mark subjects in Timugon Murut. However, non-subject agents are marked with the ergative case marker, du, while non-subject non-agents are marked with the oblique case marker, da.

(1) Agent Trigger
Mambali   dŭanduʔ=ti   da=konoon   da=dalaiŋ=no   da=sŭab=no   da=duit=na-no.
m-paN-bali
AT-¿?-buy woman=DET OBL=clothes OBL=child=DET OBL=morning=DET OBL=money=3SG.GEN-DET
"The woman will buy clothes for the child in the morning with her money."
(2) Patient Trigger
Bali-on   konoon   du=dŭanduʔ=ti   da=dalaiŋ=no   da=sŭab=no   da=duit=na-no.
buy-PT clothes ERG=woman=DET OBL=child=DET OBL=morning=DET OBL=money=3SG.GEN-DET
"The woman will buy clothes for the child in the morning with her money."
(or "Clothes will be bought for the child in the morning by the woman with her money.")
(3) Benefactive Trigger
Bali-in   dalaiŋ=no   da=konoon   du=dŭanduʔ=ti   da=sŭab=no   da=duit=na-no.
buy-BT child=DET OBL=clothes ERG=woman=DET OBL=morning=DET OBL=money=3SG.GEN-DET
"The woman will buy clothes for the child in the morning with her money."
(or "The child will be bought clothes for in the morning by the woman with her money.")
(4) Instrument Trigger
Duit=na-no   pambabali   du=dŭanduʔ=ti   da=konoon   da=dalaiŋ=no   da=sŭab=no.
paN-CV~bali
money=3SG.GEN-DET ¿?-IT~buy ERG=woman=DET OBL=clothes OBL=child=DET OBL=morning=DET
"The woman will buy clothes for the child in the morning with her money."
(or "Heri money will be bought clothes with for the child in the morning by the womani.")
(5) Circumstantial Trigger
Sŭab=na   pambalian   du=dŭanduʔ=ti   da=konoon   da=dalaiŋ=no   da=duit=na-no.
paN-bali-an
morning=DET ¿?-buy-CT ERG=woman=DET OBL=clothes OBL=child=DET OBL=money=3SG.GEN-DET
"The woman will buy clothes for the child in the morning with her money."
(or "The morning will be bought clothes in for the child by the woman with her money.")

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[58] 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.")

Properties[edit]

Agreement with the Semantic Role of the Subject[edit]

In languages that exhibit Austronesian alignment, the voice affix on the main verb within the clause marks agreement with "the semantic role of the [subject]"[59].

For example, the agent trigger affix may agree only with agent nominal phrases. (The asterisk means that the sentence is ungrammatical for the intended meaning.)

Kapampangan
a. Agent Trigger
S‹um›ulat   ya=ng   poesia   ing   lalaki   king   blackboard.
AT›will.write 3SG.DIR=ACC poem DIR boy OBL blackboard
"The boy will write a poem on the blackboard."
b. * Sumulat yang lalaki ing poesia king blackboard.
Intended: "The boy will write a poem on the blackboard."
(Grammatical for: "The poem will write a boy on the blackboard.")
c. * Sumulat yang poesia ing blackboard king lalaki.
Intended: "The boy will write a poem on the blackboard."
(Grammatical for: "The blackboard will write a poem on the boy.")
Tagalog
a. Agent Trigger
B‹um›ili   ng   mangga   sa   palengke   ang   mama.
ASP.AT›buy IND mango OBL market DIR man
"The man bought a mango at the market."
b. * Bumili ng mama sa palengke ang mangga.
Intended: "The man bought a mango at the market."
(Grammatical for: "The mango bought a man at the market.")
c. * Bumili ng mangga sa lalaki ang palengke.
Intended: "The man bought a mango at the market."
(Grammatical for: "The market bought a mango from the man.")

The sentences in (b) are ungrammatical because the patient nominal phrase is marked as the subject, even though the verb bears the agent trigger infix. The sentences in (c) are ungrammatical because, instead of the agent nominal phrase, the location nominal phrase is marked as the subject.

The patient trigger affix may agree only with patient nominal phrases.

Kapampangan
a. Patient Trigger
I-sulat   n=e   ning   lalaki   ing   poesia   king   blackboard.
PT-will.write 3SG.ERG=3SG.DIR ERG boy DIR poem OBL blackboard
"The poem will be written by the boy on the blackboard."
b. * Isulat ne ning poesia ing lalaki king blackboard.
Intended: "The poem will be written by the boy on the blackboard."
(Grammatical for: "The boy will be written by the poem on the blackboard.")
c. * Isulat ne ning lalaki ing blackboard king poesia.
Intended: "The poem will be written by the boy on the blackboard."
(Grammatical for: "The blackboard will be written by the boy on the poem.")
Tagalog
a. Patient Trigger
B‹in›ili-   ng   mama   sa   palengke   ang   mangga.
ASP›buy-PT IND man OBL market DIR mango
"The mango was bought by the man at the market."
b. * Binili- ng mangga sa palengke ang mama.
Intended: "The mango was bought by the man at the market."
(Grammatical for: "The man was bought by the mango at the market.")
c. * Binili- ng mama sa mangga ang palengke.
Intended: "The mango was bought by the man at the market."
(Grammatical for: "The market was bought by the man at the mango.")

The sentences in (b) are ungrammatical because the agent nominal phrase is marked as the subject, even though the verb bears the patient trigger affix. The sentences in (c) are ungrammatical because, instead of the patient nominal phrase, the location nominal phrase is marked as the subject.

The locative trigger affix may agree only with location nominal phrases.

Kapampangan
a. Locative Trigger
Pi-sulat-an   n=e=ng   poesia   ning   lalaki   ing   blackboard.
LT-will.write-LT 3SG.ERG=3SG.DIR=ACC poem ERG boy DIR blackboard
"The blackboard will be written a poem on by the boy."
b. * Pisulatan neng poesia ning blackboard ing lalaki.
Intended: "The blackboard will be written a poem on by the boy."
(Grammatical for: "The boy will be written a poem on by the blackboard.")
c. * Pisulatan neng blackboard ning lalaki ing poesia.
Intended: "The blackboard will be written a poem on by the boy."
(Grammatical for: "The poem will be written a blackboard on by the boy.")
Tagalog
a. Locative Trigger
B‹in›ilh-an   ng   mama   ng   mangga   ang   palengke.
ASP›buy-LT IND man IND mango DIR market
"The market was bought a mango at by the man."
b. * Binilhan ng palengke ng mangga ang mama.
Intended: "The market was bought a mango at by the man."
(Grammatical for: "The man was bought a mango from by the market.")
c. * Binilhan ng mama ng palengke ang mangga.
Intended: "The market was bought a mango at by the man."
(Grammatical for: "The mango was bought a market at by the man.")

The sentences in (b) are ungrammatical because the agent nominal phrase is marked as the subject, even though the verb bears the locative trigger affix. The sentences in (c) are ungrammatical because, instead of the location nominal phrase, the patient nominal phrase is marked as the subject.

Types of Semantic Roles[edit]

Across languages, the most common semantic roles with which the voice affixes may agree are agent, patient, location, instrument, and benefactee. In some languages, the voice affixes may also agree with semantic roles such as theme, goal, reason, and time.

The set of semantic roles that may be borne by subjects in each language varies, and some affixes can agree with more than one semantic role.[60] In all the languages sampled, one verbal affix agrees with the agent nominal phrase, a second agrees with the patient nominal phrase, and at least one other affix agrees with an oblique (non-agent, non-patient) nominal phrase.

Language Number of Voices Prefocus Base Agent Patient Location Instrument Benefactee Theme Goal Reason Time
Proto-Austronesian 4 N/A -um- -en -an si-
Amis 4 N/A m- ma- -an sa-
Atayal (Mayrinax) 4 N/A m- -un -an si- si-
Atayal (Squliq) 4 N/A m- -un -an s- s-
Blaan 4 Agent ∅ / m- / -am- n- / -an-
Patient m- / -am- n- / -an-
Instrument m- / -am- n- / -am-
Bonggi 4 N/A N- -∅ / -idn pəN- -adn -adn
Cebuano 4 N/A mo- -on -an i- -an -an
Hla'alua 3 N/A -um- -a -ana -ana
Ivatan 4 N/A m- -hen -an qi- qi-
Kadazan Dusun 3 N/A mog- -on -an
Kalagan 4 N/A -um- -in -an pag- -an
Kanakanavu 4 N/A -um- -ai -an si-
Kapampangan 5 N/A -um- i- pi--an paN- paN- -anan
Kavalan 3 N/A -em- -an ti- ti-
Kelabit 3 N/A N- -∅ / -en peN-
Kimaragang 5 N/A m- -on -on ∅- / i- -an
Limos Kalinga 5 N/A man- -∅ / -on -an i- i--an
Malagasy 3 N/A m- -ina -ana -ana
Maranao 4 N/A -om- -in -an i- -an
Paiwan 4 N/A -m- -en -an si-
Palawan 4 N/A mog- -on -an i- -an
Pazeh 4 N/A mu- -en -an saa-
Puyuma 4 N/A -em- -aw -ay -anay -anay
Seediq (Tgdaya) 4 N/A -em- -un -an se-
Seediq (Truku) 3 N/A -em- -an -an se- se-
Tagalog 6 N/A m- / -um- -∅ / -in -an ipaN- i- -an ika-
Timugon Murut 5 N/A m- -on CV- -in -an
Tondano 4 N/A -um- -ən -an i- i- i-
Tsou[61] 4 N/A mo- -a -i -neni
Yami 4 N/A -om- -en -an i-

Promotion Direct to Subject[edit]

Languages that have Austronesian alignment do not have a process that promotes an oblique argument to direct object. Oblique arguments are promoted directly to subject.

Tagalog
1) Agent Trigger
AGENT THEME GOAL
Nagpadala   ang   mama   ng   pera   sa   anak   niya.
M-n-pag-padala
AT-ASP-¿?-send DIR man IND money OBL child 3SG.GEN
"The man sent money to his child."
2) Locative Trigger
AGENT THEME GOAL
P‹in›adalh-an   ng   mama   ng   pera   ang   anak   niya.
ASP›send-LT IND man IND money DIR child 3SG.GEN
"Hisi child was sent money by the mani."
3) (ungrammatical attempt to promote the indirect object to direct object)
AGENT THEME GOAL
* Nagpadalhan   ang   mama   ng   pera   ng   anak   niya.
* M-n-pag-padalh-an
* AT-ASP-¿?-send-LT DIR man IND money IND child 3SG.GEN
* Intended: "The man sent his child money."

In the Tagalog examples above, the goal nominal phrase can either be an indirect object, as in (1), or a subject as in (2). However, it cannot become a direct object, or be marked with indirect case, as in (3). Verb forms, such as "nagpadalhan", which bear both an agent trigger affix and a non-agent trigger affix, do not exist in languages that have Austronesian alignment.

The Tagalog examples contrast with the examples[62] from Indonesian below. Indonesian is a language that does not have Austronesian alignment.

Indonesian
4) Active Voice
AGENT THEME GOAL
Ayah   mengirim   uang   kepada   saya.
meN-kirim
father ACTIVE VOICE-send money to 1SG
"Father sent money to me."
5) Passive Voice with an Applicative Suffix
GOAL THEME AGENT
Saya   di-kirim-i   uang   oleh   Ayah.
1SG PASSIVE VOICE-send-APPLICATIVE money by father
"I was sent money by Father."
6) Active Voice with an Applicative Suffix
AGENT GOAL THEME
Ayah   mengirimi   saya   uang.
meN-kirim-i
father ACTIVE VOICE-send-APPLICATIVE 1SG money
"Father sent me money."

In the Indonesian examples, the goal nominal phrase can be the indirect object, as in (4), and the subject, as in (5). However, unlike in Tagalog, which has Austronesian alignment, the goal nominal phrase in Indonesian can be a direct object, as in (6). The preposition kepada disappears in the presence of the applicative suffix -i, and the goal nominal phrase moves from sentence-final position to some verb-adjacent position. In addition, they can behave like regular direct objects and undergo processes such as passivisation, as in (5).

Non-Austronesian Examples[edit]

Alignment types resembling Austronesian alignment 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[63] 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[64]
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     LT   locative trigger     TR   transitive
2   second person     DIR   direct case     M   masculine     ¿?   morpheme of unknown semantics
3   third person     ERG   ergative case     NAT   non-agent trigger
ACC   accusative case     F   feminine     NMLZ   nominalizer
AN   animate     GEN   genitive case     OBL   oblique case
ASP   aspect     GT   goal trigger     PL   plural
AT   agent trigger     INAN   inanimate     PREP   preposition
AUX   auxiliary verb     IND   indirect case     PT   patient trigger
BT   benefactive trigger     INDF   indefinite     RL   realis mood
CT   circumstantial trigger     IT   instrument trigger     RT   reason trigger
DEF   definite     LIG   ligature     SG   singular

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 Liu (2011)'s examples in (2.5) on page 27. Glosses and translation modified for the Wikipedia article.
  4. ^ Taken from Liu (2011)'s examples in (2.30) on page 44. Glosses and translation modified for the Wikipedia article.
  5. ^ Taken from Liu (2017)'s examples in (52) to (56). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  6. ^ Taken from Pan (2012)'s examples in (3.16b), (3.23a), (3.32d) and (3.33a). Glosses and translation modified for the Wikipedia article.
  7. ^ 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)).
  8. ^ Taken from Liu (2014)'s examples in (5a), (5c), (17a), and (20a). Glosses and translation modified for the Wikipedia article.
  9. ^ Taken from Lee (2016)'s examples in (24), and (25). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  10. ^ Taken from Ross and Teng (2005)'s examples in (2). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Taken from Aldridge (2015)'s examples in (7), and Cauquelin (1991)'s example on page 44. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  13. ^ While this example may come from Cauquelin (1991), the orthography used here conforms to the orthography used in Aldridge (2015).
  14. ^ Taken from Kuo (2015)'s examples in (2.1) on page 14. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  15. ^ Taken from Tsukida (2012)'s examples in (3). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  16. ^ Taken from Huang and Huang (2007)'s examples in III in the Appendix, pages 449-450. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  17. ^ Zeitoun (2005), page 266
  18. ^ Zeitoun (2005), page 267 ("actor voice" and "undergoer voice", respectively, in her terminology).
  19. ^ 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).
  20. ^ Taken from Reid (1966)'s examples on pages 26 and 27. Glosses and translation modified for the Wikipedia article.
  21. ^ The orthography used for the data here reflects the transcription system used by Reid (1966). It seems that, from the Wikipedia article on Ivatan, this may not be the actual spelling system that the speakers of this language use. The sound represented by ‹q› is /ʔ/.
  22. ^ Reid (1966; pp 25-27) presents an alternative form for the verb in locative trigger. Instead of appearing with the 'pang-' prefix, a verb of this class in locative trigger form may appear with just the '-an' suffix. For this example, instead of 'pangamoqmoan', the verb would be 'qamoqmoan'. Reid indicates that the distinction between these two forms is that the patient of the action must be explicit for the form appearing without the 'pang-' prefix.
  23. ^ Reid (1966; pp 25-27) presents an alternative form for the verb in circumstantial trigger, when it selects for instrument subjects. Instead of appearing with the 'pang-' prefix, a verb of this class in circumstantial trigger form may appear with just the 'qi-' prefix. For this example, instead of 'qipangamoqmo', the verb would be 'qimoqmo'. Reid indicates that the distinction between these two forms is that the patient of the action must be explicit for the form appearing without the 'pang-' prefix.
  24. ^ Reid (1966; pp 25-27) does not present any alternative form for verbs of this class in circumstantial trigger, when they select for benefactee subjects.
  25. ^ Taken from Huang (2014)'s examples in (3a-d) on page 251. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  26. ^ Taken from Abrams (1970)'s examples on page 2. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  27. ^ 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 patient prefocus base is inherently in patient trigger voice, and an instrument prefocus base is inherently in instrument trigger voice.
  28. ^ 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).
  29. ^ 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 non-agent trigger voice, and allows for the selection of a patient subject.
  30. ^ Without any voice-changing morphemes, patient prefocus bases take patient subjects. The agent trigger affix changes the voice of the base to agent trigger voice, allowing the verb to take an agent subject. The non-agent trigger affix allows a patient prefocus base to take location subjects.
  31. ^ 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 non-agent trigger voice, and allows for the selection of a patient subject.
  32. ^ Taken from Bell (1976)'s examples on pages 8, 9, and 11. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  33. ^ Taken from Travis (2010)'s examples in (46) on page 42. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  34. ^ Taken from Mirikitani (1972)'s examples in (64), (95), (96), (100), (101) and (106). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ Taken from Ferreirinho (1993)'s examples in (100), (245), (246), (247) and (248). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ Taken from Tryon (1994)'s examples on pages 35 and 36. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  40. ^ 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.
  41. ^ The subject in (6a) is the nominalization of the adverbial clause in (6b).
  42. ^ Taken from Sneddon (1970)'s examples on page 13, and from Sneddon (1975)'s examples on pages 63 and 66. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  43. ^ Taken from Boutin (2002)'s examples in (3), and (4) on page 211, (6) and (7) on page 212, and in (44) on page 222. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  44. ^ Boutin (2002; pp. 211-212) presents other voice-related data. However, because these are periphrastic constructions, they are of no interest for the purposes of this Wikipedia article.
  45. ^ The patient trigger suffix surfaces either as -idn or as -∅. The choice of allomorph depends on whether or not the verb is marked with the -in- realis mood morpheme. When the realis mood morpheme is present, the -∅ allomorph surfaces.
  46. ^ Taken from Hemmings (2016)'s examples in (39), page 270). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  47. ^ Taken from Hemmings (2016)'s examples in (189a-c), page 200. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  48. ^ 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
  49. ^ Hemmings (2016; pages 202-203).
  50. ^ The patient trigger suffix has two allomorphs, -en and -∅. The former occurs in non-perfective contexts, whereas the latter in perfective contexts.
  51. ^ 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.
  52. ^ Kroeger (2017), page 5.
  53. ^ 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.
  54. ^ 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-.
  55. ^ 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...".
  56. ^ 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...".
  57. ^ Taken from Prentice (1965)'s examples on pages 130 and 131. Glosses and translations for the Wikipedia article.
  58. ^ Taken from Pearson (2005)'s examples in (2) and (10c). Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  59. ^ Ross (2002, p. 20)
  60. ^ The table below reflects the data found in this Wikipedia article, and should not be taken as exhaustive for each language.
  61. ^ Main verbs only.
  62. ^ Taken from Shiohara (2012)'s examples in (4a-b) on page 60, and in (12) on page 63. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  63. ^ Taken from van Urk (2015)'s example (2) on page 61. Glosses and translations modified for the Wikipedia article.
  64. ^ 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).

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