Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton
pne

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Did you know...

...that Niuean can promote an instrument to be a direct object of a sentence?

A sentence such as Kua tā he tama e tau fakatino aki e malala "The child has been drawing pictures with a charcoal" can have the direct object e tau fakatino "pictures" incorporated into the verb leaving the subject, which is marked with absolutive, rather than ergative case: Kua tā fakatino e tama aki e malala "The child has been drawing pictures with a charcoal".

However, the sentence can also drop the aki "with" and promote the instrument to be a direct object; the subject retains its ergative case marking while the instrument is marked as a direct object: Kua tā fakatino he tama e malala "The child has been drawing pictures with a charcoal".

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