‘Passive’ clauses in Trurian

Trurian does not have any conventional ‘passive’ construction. Instead, decreasing verb valence by demoting the agent of an action to an oblique role is handled through either of two mechanisms:

1) introduction of the promoted patient in a verbless relative clause, with a perfective verb in the matrix clause. Note that while the promoted patient remains in the accusative, the relative clause acts as the effective subject of the matrix clause – making this construction fulfill the requirements for a ‘passive’:

ner woni ilnerono
REL man.ACC kill.PERF
“the man who was killed”

The agent is demoted from its role as subject, and may only be expressed as an oblique (in a construction with the preposition min).

For a more prototypical ‘passive’ clause – say “the man was killed” – a pseudo-cleft construction must be used whereby an appropriate pronoun is added before the relative clause:

roth ner woni ilnerono
he REL man.ACC kill.PERF
“the man was killed” (literally, “he is the man who was killed”)

2) formation of an adverbial clause whereby an adverb is formed from the relevant verb, while the promoted patient becomes the ‘subject’ of the sentence. The ‘adverbialized verb’ – formed by adding the productive adverbial suffix -er to the root form of the verb – can be analyzed as a non-finite verb form, and it can take the demoted agent as a direct dependent, as in the following example:

ilnerer eyädhrot won
kill.ADV ABL.bear man
“the man was killed by a bear”

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