By Ranko Matasović
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Extra resources for A Short Grammar of Kabardian
This case is usually called the absolutive, but in Kabardian it is traditionally referred to as the nominative. The patient can either be left out in the antipassive construction, or it can appear in an oblique case. Equating the Kabardian ''bipersonal'' intransitive construction with the antipassive is not correct41; the affix -(a)w- is not the antipassive marker, as Catford explains it, but the present prefix which is added in the 3rd person to intransitive verbs only, and in the 1sta and 2nd person to all verbs.
In RRG terms we would say that in constructions with transitive verbs the nominative case is assigned to the lowest ranking macrorole, while all other 41 About this see also Hewitt 1982 and Kumakhov & Vamling 2006: 13 ff. 36 Matasović: A Short Grammar of Kabardian arguments are assigned the ergative case. Also, the order of personal prefixes can be expressed like this42: I: lowest ranking macrorole; II: non-macrorole core argument; III: other macrorole (with transitive verbs this will always be the Actor).
E. poss. -neg. e. it turns transitive verbs into intransitive. e. the patient: in the potential, the patient is not affected by the action, so the verb has to be intransitive, cf. the following two examples (Kumaxov, ed. -neg. -neg. "I cannot give you to him" (the verb is intransitive, so the order of the prefixes for 1sg. and 3sg. arəsa-r ya-šx (note the 3sg. arəsa-r xw-aw-šx (note the lack of the 3sg. e. if the preceding example should be rendered as "it is possible to the sick man to eat the apple".