Edited by Gerrit J. Dimmendaal
[Studies in Language Companion Series 110] 2009
► pp. 55–96
Participant marking in Alaaba is mainly manifested in its case system. Eight cases can be differentiated with nouns: The Absolutive primarily encodes the direct object of a sentence and is used as the citation form of the noun. The Nominative is basically used to encode the subject of a sentence. The Genitive marks a possessive relationship. The Dative typically encodes the recipient of an action. The Ablative marks the source, the Locative a location and the Instrumental the instrument with which something is achieved. Finally the Similative is used to show similarity between two items. The case systems for modifers are considerably reduced as is shown with dependent demonstratives, numerals and adjectives. The pronominal case system is special insofar as the citation form is the Nominative; also a Locative form cannot be differentiated from the Instrumental. – The valency of verbs interacts with the use of the different cases. Some verbs may change their valency unmarked. The following verbal derivational devices can be formally established: the causative with several allomorphs, the transitivizing morpheme -a?-, the anticausative -ta?-, the passive marker -am-, the middle voice with two allomorphs, and the reciprocal which is combined of the middle voice and the passive morpheme.