Random ideas: Morphosyntax

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Frislander » 20 Sep 2016 13:15

Hyolobrika wrote:
Spoiler:
Ear of the Sphinx wrote:Idea of a language with regular distinction of type:

dal - to go
dagal - to walk
dayil - to come

il - to eat
igal - to swallow
iyil - to consume, to nourish oneself

naul - to hold, to carry
naugal - to grasp
nawil - to keep

temal - to say
temcal - to speak
temil - to tell

cetal - to learn
cetcal - to repeat material
cetil - to get experience, to gain knowledge

aso.
How is that regular?

I think a good way to extend the go/come perspective distinction would be to inflect ('PROX') the noun which is focused on that way. So:

"transfer 1s.GEN.INTENT.PROX 2p.DAT ideas.ABS" ~= "I give you ideas" and
"transfer 1s.GEN.INTENT 2p.DAT.PROX ideas.ABS" ~= "You receive ideas from me"

"translate me.ABS.INTENT place.ALL.PROX" = "I'm coming" and
"translate me.ABS.INTENT place.ABL.PROX" = "I'm going"

There could be different 'proximal' inflections depending on what it is proximal to: speaker, listener, context at hand in a story etc
For the regularity issue, [+1] : the distinctions being encoded there are clearly not liable to be easily
broken down into two semantic domains (what common feature unites "come", "keep" and "tell" and regularly segregates them from "go", "hold" and "say", for instance).

As for your solution, Hyolobrika, the Iroquoian languages have something similar in the form of cislocative and translocative prefixes on their verbs marking motion towards and away from the deictic centre, respectively.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Hyolobrika » 23 Sep 2016 01:47

Instead of English's distinction between nouns, adjectives and verbs both stative and dynamic, have a different thing:
  • Words that denote temporary properties and feelings
  • Same as above but more permanent
  • Verbs of action
Or perhaps instead of dividing by permanency, divide by simplicity/mixedness.
Last edited by Hyolobrika on 26 Dec 2016 10:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Hyolobrika » 26 Dec 2016 10:17

For negative sentences, instead of saying a separate short word that can be missed in fast speech, modify the verb or a particular noun. For example changing all consonants voiced to unvoiced and unvoiced to voiced or changing the consonants in rotation, say, alveolar to bilabial to velar to alveolar etc.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Omzinesý » 26 Dec 2016 11:00

Hyolobrika wrote:For negative sentences, instead of saying a separate short word that can be missed in fast speech, modify the verb or a particular noun. For example changing all consonants voiced to unvoiced and unvoiced to voiced or changing the consonants in rotation, say, alveolar to bilabial to velar to alveolar etc.
There are languages that have negative verbs, either derived or lexical. In principle I don't see why the derivation couldn't be made that fusionally.
Negation as intonation feature, like questions, could also be interesting.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Omzinesý » 26 Dec 2016 11:03

Frislander wrote:
Hyolobrika wrote:
Spoiler:
Ear of the Sphinx wrote:Idea of a language with regular distinction of type:

dal - to go
dagal - to walk
dayil - to come

il - to eat
igal - to swallow
iyil - to consume, to nourish oneself

naul - to hold, to carry
naugal - to grasp
nawil - to keep

temal - to say
temcal - to speak
temil - to tell

cetal - to learn
cetcal - to repeat material
cetil - to get experience, to gain knowledge

aso.
How is that regular?

I think a good way to extend the go/come perspective distinction would be to inflect ('PROX') the noun which is focused on that way. So:

"transfer 1s.GEN.INTENT.PROX 2p.DAT ideas.ABS" ~= "I give you ideas" and
"transfer 1s.GEN.INTENT 2p.DAT.PROX ideas.ABS" ~= "You receive ideas from me"

"translate me.ABS.INTENT place.ALL.PROX" = "I'm coming" and
"translate me.ABS.INTENT place.ABL.PROX" = "I'm going"

There could be different 'proximal' inflections depending on what it is proximal to: speaker, listener, context at hand in a story etc
For the regularity issue, [+1] : the distinctions being encoded there are clearly not liable to be easily
broken down into two semantic domains (what common feature unites "come", "keep" and "tell" and regularly segregates them from "go", "hold" and "say", for instance).

As for your solution, Hyolobrika, the Iroquoian languages have something similar in the form of cislocative and translocative prefixes on their verbs marking motion towards and away from the deictic centre, respectively.
Somali uses a particle with a verb meaning something like 'move' to express deictic direction. The particle is part of the verbal group but it's hard to say if it's part of the verb or noun or what.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by LinguoFranco » 26 Dec 2016 15:47

I once had a conlang that used pitch accents to determine a verb's tense and a noun's grammatical gender.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Frislander » 27 Dec 2016 11:35

LinguoFranco wrote:I once had a conlang that used pitch accents to determine a verb's tense and a noun's grammatical gender.
For the first one, yes, that's attested I'm sure (c.f. Bantu verbs with their specific tone patterns), the second one I don't think so, but it's still an interesting idea.

From what I gather, tone/pitch accent seems far more likely to be doing grammatical work on verbs than on nouns, and I'd even propose an implicational hierarchy to the effect of 'if grammatical functions on nouns are encoded at least partly through tone changes, then grammatical functions on verbs are also partly encoded through tone changes'.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by gach » 27 Dec 2016 17:33

Frislander wrote:From what I gather, tone/pitch accent seems far more likely to be doing grammatical work on verbs than on nouns, and I'd even propose an implicational hierarchy to the effect of 'if grammatical functions on nouns are encoded at least partly through tone changes, then grammatical functions on verbs are also partly encoded through tone changes'.
What would be the mechanism leading to that? For me it seems that sound changes are equally likely to turn segmental morphemes into tone alternations on all content words. Why would for example the following toy example (final /t/ inducing high tone and subsequently getting dropped) be more likely to happen if the root word is a verb and the affix -t a verbal inflection than if the root word is a noun and the affix a nominal inflection?

kata-t > katá-t > katá

Now, paradigmatic levelling can easily destroy such tone alternations. My intuition is that using simple tone alternations would be much less stable for person marking than for distinguishing categories like tense or aspect. Person marking paradigms are quite tight and like analogical levelling while changing the tense or aspect would create whole new paradigms and have less pressure to be phonologically levelled. On the side of nouns, case inflections still form paradigms but these are less coherent than person marking paradigms. I find is easy to imagine that a common central case form, like accusative or ergative, could only be marked by a tone change for quite some time. When you go to such nominal inflections as marking definiteness or a simple two way gender distinction, there would be no particular pressure to level the tones away since a single tone change would already generate the whole paradigm.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Frislander » 27 Dec 2016 20:31

[quote="gach"][quote="Frislander"]From what I gather, tone/pitch accent seems far more likely to be doing grammatical work on verbs than on nouns, and I'd even propose an implicational hierarchy to the effect of 'if grammatical functions on nouns are encoded at least partly through tone changes, then grammatical functions on verbs are also partly encoded through tone changes'.[/quote]

What would be the mechanism leading to that? For me it seems that sound changes are equally likely to turn segmental morphemes into tone alternations on all content words. Why would for example the following toy example (final /t/ inducing high tone and subsequently getting dropped) be more likely to happen if the root word is a verb and the affix [b]-t[/b] a verbal inflection than if the root word is a noun and the affix a nominal inflection?

[b]kata-t[/b] > [b]katá-t[/b] > [b]katá[/b]

Now, paradigmatic levelling can easily destroy such tone alternations. My intuition is that using simple tone alternations would be much less stable for person marking than for distinguishing categories like tense or aspect. Person marking paradigms are quite tight and like analogical levelling while changing the tense or aspect would create whole new paradigms and have less pressure to be phonologically levelled. On the side of nouns, case inflections still form paradigms but these are less coherent than person marking paradigms. I find is easy to imagine that a common central case form, like accusative or ergative, could only be marked by a tone change for quite some time. When you go to such nominal inflections as marking definiteness or a simple two way gender distinction, there would be no particular pressure to level the tones away since a single tone change would already generate the whole paradigm.[/quote]

I wasn't really considering motivations, I was rather making note of how tonal inflection seems to work in the languages which I am aware of, e.g. in both Bantu and Athabaskan tone changes occur in verbs but not nouns, while in Nilo-Saharan (if valid as a genetic group) seems to use tone changes on both nouns and verbs.

I wonder whether word-shapes may play a part? Perhaps verb roots are more likely to have similar shapes than noun roots, thus similar results tone-wise are more likely in tonogenisis processes contra nouns, which may see more irregularity, thus leading to a greater tendency to be levelled out? Or am I mistaken here?

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by gach » 28 Dec 2016 01:49

If there is a real noun-verb asymmetry in purely tonemic morphemes, it has to have some motivation. Thus far the sample of such morphemes in mutually unrelated languages looks too small to make any rigorous conclusions. If it is more common to have tonemic morphemes on verbs, and if this is more than just a statistical fluke, my first guess would be to connect this with verbal morphology generally being more complex than nominal morphology. Hence, at least as a first order approximation, you might expect more chances for these developments on verbs than on nouns. But this is simply a statistical argument and it doesn't predict any strict hierarchies for the occurrence of these morphemes in verbs and nouns.

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Omzinesý » 28 Dec 2016 13:16

gach wrote:
Frislander wrote:From what I gather, tone/pitch accent seems far more likely to be doing grammatical work on verbs than on nouns, and I'd even propose an implicational hierarchy to the effect of 'if grammatical functions on nouns are encoded at least partly through tone changes, then grammatical functions on verbs are also partly encoded through tone changes'.
What would be the mechanism leading to that? For me it seems that sound changes are equally likely to turn segmental morphemes into tone alternations on all content words. Why would for example the following toy example (final /t/ inducing high tone and subsequently getting dropped) be more likely to happen if the root word is a verb and the affix -t a verbal inflection than if the root word is a noun and the affix a nominal inflection?

kata-t > katá-t > katá

Now, paradigmatic levelling can easily destroy such tone alternations. My intuition is that using simple tone alternations would be much less stable for person marking than for distinguishing categories like tense or aspect. Person marking paradigms are quite tight and like analogical levelling while changing the tense or aspect would create whole new paradigms and have less pressure to be phonologically levelled. On the side of nouns, case inflections still form paradigms but these are less coherent than person marking paradigms. I find is easy to imagine that a common central case form, like accusative or ergative, could only be marked by a tone change for quite some time. When you go to such nominal inflections as marking definiteness or a simple two way gender distinction, there would be no particular pressure to level the tones away since a single tone change would already generate the whole paradigm.
Somali - Somali again, it just does interesting things - distinguishes gender by pitch accent alternations.

ínan 'a boy'
Inán 'a girl'

Those above are accusatives. The marked nominatives would be:
inan 'boy' without accent
inani 'a girl' (maybe an accent somewhere)

My theory is that the cause of the alternation is the Afro-Asiatic feminine suffix -at.

Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ossetian_language says that Ossetic marks definiteness with stress alternation
"færǽt "an axe", fǽræt "the axe"

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Interesting case system

Post by Hyolobrika » 30 Dec 2016 00:05

  • Direct subject / ergative
  • Indirect subject / causative
  • Thing affected or to which given
  • Thing given / instrument / verb [O.O]
  • Benefactive
  • Approvative (with the approval of __)
  • Intending to affect __ in some way (different from the other two objects)
    (With the positive suffix it becomes benefactive)
EDIT: Oh, and an antivocative (as well as a regular vocative) which identifies the source of the knowledge.
EDIT2: brackets were added
Last edited by Hyolobrika on 09 Jan 2017 21:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Interesting case system

Post by eldin raigmore » 04 Jan 2017 07:35

Hyolobrika wrote:... antivocative ... vocative which identifies the source of the knowledge.
Why call these cases "vocative" and "antivocative"?
Aren't they more like evidential than like "O Caesar" or "Hey Arnold" or "Lugal-e" -- case-endings that make nouns into terms of address, i.e. vocatives as that word is usually meant?

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Re: Interesting case system

Post by Omzinesý » 06 Jan 2017 19:56

Hyolobrika wrote:
  • Direct subject / ergative
  • Indirect subject / causative
What do direct and indirect subjects mean?

[*] Thing affected or to which given
[*] Thing given / instrument / verb [O.O]
[*] Benefactive[/s]
[*] Approvative (with the approval of __)
[*] Intending to affect __ in some way (different from the other two objects)
(With the positive suffix it becomes benefactive)[/list]
EDIT: Oh, and an antivocative as well as a regular vocative which identifies the source of the knowledge.

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Re: Interesting case system

Post by Shemtov » 06 Jan 2017 20:18

eldin raigmore wrote:
Hyolobrika wrote:... antivocative ... vocative which identifies the source of the knowledge.
Why call these cases "vocative" and "antivocative"?
Aren't they more like evidential than like "O Caesar" or "Hey Arnold" or "Lugal-e" -- case-endings that make nouns into terms of address, i.e. vocatives as that word is usually meant?
.
Personally, I would call the Antivocative "Quotative" -maybe with a direct and an indirect distinction?
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
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Re: Interesting case system

Post by eldin raigmore » 09 Jan 2017 02:13

Shemtov wrote:
eldin raigmore wrote:
Hyolobrika wrote:... antivocative ... vocative which identifies the source of the knowledge.
Why call these cases "vocative" and "antivocative"?
Aren't they more like evidential than like "O Caesar" or "Hey Arnold" or "Lugal-e" -- case-endings that make nouns into terms of address, i.e. vocatives as that word is usually meant?
.
Personally, I would call the Antivocative "Quotative" -maybe with a direct and an indirect distinction?
Wouldn't "quotative" be a mood (or mode or modality) rather than a "case"? And thus, a verbal accident rather than a nominal one?

OTOH, if there is a "hearsay" evidential, there could be a "direct hearsay" evidential ("I heard this from an eyewitness") and an "indirect hearsay" evidential ("I heard this from someone else who heard it from someone").

FYI @Hyolobrika:

Epistemic modality (or epistemic mood) answers the question "just how sure am I (the speaker)?".
Evidentiality answers the question "exactly how can I be as sure as I am?".

Both are verbal accidents; mood/mode/modality is a "major" one* and evidentiality is a "minor" one**.

*(The five "major" verbal accidents are aspect, mood/mode/modality, polarity, tense, and voice. It seems most natlangs' verbs have mandatory marking of at least two of these, and at least optional marking of all (or nearly all?); though some grammarians analyze some languages as having two different dimensions of modality/mode/mood, so those languages might have as many as six "major" verbal accidents).

**(The most common "minor" verbal accidents seem to be evidentiality, mirativity, pluractionality, validationality. "Empathic focus" aka "focus-of-empathy" aka "perspective" aka "point-of-view" might be another, and might also belong on that list. And there are probably others as well; directionality and politeness, for instance, though IIANM neither is very commonly a mandatorily-marked verbal accident.)

***(I am leaving out any agreement with the nominal and/or pronominal accidents of the core participants (subject, primary object, secondary objects).)


[hr][/hr]
Omzinesý wrote:
Hyolobrika wrote:
  • Direct subject / ergative
  • Indirect subject / causative
What do direct and indirect subjects mean?
I would bet that one of them is the instigator or "agent of cause" and the other is the "causee" or "agent of effect".

FYI @Hyolobrika:
One of them instigates whatever action the clause says, the other actually performs that action.
Either or both could control or effect the action.
An agent is any entity (nearly always an animate entity, capable of volition; otherwise it would be called a "force" instead of an "agent") which controls and/or effects and/or instigates and/or performs the action that is the nucleus of the clause.
Causative clauses can have more than one agent; one (the instigator) makes or persuades the other (the causee) to perform the action.
Doubly-causative clauses can have more than two agents; an initial instigator, a middle agent, and a final performer.

@Omzinesý and @Hyolobrika both:
Even if I were right in my "bet", it would not be clear to me which of the two agents in a causative clause Hyolobrika means by "direct subject" and which s/he means by "indirect subject".

[hr][/hr]
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

At 2017/01/09 14:50 (Mon Jan 9 2:50 PM) I sent the following PM to Hyolobrika:
Edit:
eldin raigmore wrote:Subject: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Hi, Hyolobrika!

With respect to the post quoted below:
Hyolobrika wrote:
  • Direct subject / ergative
  • Indirect subject / causative
  • Thing affected or to which given
  • Thing given / instrument / verb [O.O]
  • Benefactive
  • Approvative (with the approval of __)
  • Intending to affect __ in some way (different from the other two objects)
    (With the positive suffix it becomes benefactive)
EDIT: Oh, and an antivocative as well as a regular vocative which identifies the source of the knowledge.
You haven't replied to any of the responses (at least, you haven't replied on-thread).

This has made me worry;
Maybe you thought we were criticizing your idea(s)?
Maybe we scared you off?

If so, please don't be scared off!
And please don't think we were criticizing your ideas; instead we were trying to understand them.

You may have thought we were saying you weren't using linguistic terminology correctly; and maybe we were indeed wondering about that.

But, even if you were "using it wrong", please understand that that has no bearing at all on how good your ideas are or how good your language will be!

What your conlang actually does is much more important than how you choose to describe it.

[hr][/hr]

I look forward to reading your next post about this interesting case system.

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Re: Interesting case system

Post by Hyolobrika » 10 Jan 2017 00:01

eldin raigmore wrote:
Hyolobrika wrote:... antivocative ... vocative which identifies the source of the knowledge.
Why call these cases "vocative" and "antivocative"?
Aren't they more like evidential than like "O Caesar" or "Hey Arnold" or "Lugal-e" -- case-endings that make nouns into terms of address, i.e. vocatives as that word is usually meant?
A vocative-cased noun identifies the intended recipient of the statement,
so an antivocative (i.e. the opposite of the vocative) identifies the source.
Sorry, I was a bit ambiguous with my relative clauses.
eldin raigmore wrote:I would bet that one of them is the instigator or "agent of cause" and the other is the "causee" or "agent of effect".

FYI @Hyolobrika:
One of them instigates whatever action the clause says, the other actually performs that action.
Either or both could control or effect the action.
An agent is any entity (nearly always an animate entity, capable of volition; otherwise it would be called a "force" instead of an "agent") which controls and/or effects and/or instigates and/or performs the action that is the nucleus of the clause.
Causative clauses can have more than one agent; one (the instigator) makes or persuades the other (the causee) to perform the action.
Doubly-causative clauses can have more than two agents; an initial instigator, a middle agent, and a final performer.
@Omzinesý and @Hyolobrika both:
Even if I were right in my "bet", it would not be clear to me which of the two agents in a causative clause Hyolobrika means by "direct subject" and which s/he means by "indirect subject".[/quote]
Indirect subject could be when both are present the manipulator of the direct subject and is in general the person or thing that sets off an action without directly doing it (e.g. a teacher who tells their students to do a particular problem without doing it themself).
This is distinct from the approvative which is a person who approves (or disapproves if a negative suffix)

I got the idea of having the thing affected or to which given in one case and both the thing given and the 'verb' (i.e. gerund) in another from Ithkuil:
John Quixada, A Grammar of Ithkuil wrote:the distinction between nouns and verbs common to most languages is rather blurred in Ithkuil
... http://ithkuil.net/04_case.html
The idea to merge the latter with the instrumental because of it's semantic similarities (think about it) was my idea.
  • New cases:
  • The end result/destination of an action i.e. Could you please make me some tea?
  • The 'ingredients'/source for an action i.e. He drunk from the bottle, I made crumpets with wheat (this could be merged with the instrumental/verbal)
Can anyone think of a scenario where this case system makes sentences built with it ambiguous and there's no way to make them not?
Also can anyone think of names for some of these?

eldin raigmore wrote: You haven't replied to any of the responses (at least, you haven't replied on-thread).

This has made me worry;
Maybe you thought we were criticizing your idea(s)?
Maybe we scared you off?

If so, please don't be scared off!
And please don't think we were criticizing your ideas; instead we were trying to understand them.
No need to worry. there's nothing wrong with criticism so long as it's polite (or did you mean specifically impolite criticism?)

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Re: Random ideas: Morphosyntax

Post by Solarius » 11 Jan 2017 22:09

I developed an interesting Tense-Aspect system that I might use in the future for Hayakan.

There is a simple non-past marker.

There are however two past tenses, Past 1 and Past 2. On the surface, in usage these two often seem to encode a remoteness distinction.

go-store-PST1-1p.SG
"I went to the store."

heaven make-world-PST2-3p.SG
"Heaven made the world."

But this doesn't always map up. For example, one can have a sentence like this:

put-book-PST2-1p.SG LOC table yesterday
"I put the book on the table yesterday."

Or like this:

years-many TOP lava put-hard.thing-PST1-3p.SG rock LOC ocean thus make-place-PST1-3p.SG Hawai'i
"Many years ago, lava pushed rock above the the ocean, thus making Hawai'i."

Instead, a better analysis of the distinction between Past 1 and Past 2 is that sometimes it is remoteness, and sometimes it is one of perfect vs. discontinuous. Past 1 implies that the action's result continues to the present, while Past 2 implies it doesn't. Whether remoteness or perfect vs. discontinuous is the value which holds depends on the context.

Aside from the above three tenses, there's also suffix used for habitual or gnomic senses, which supplants the non-past or Past 1. In Past 2 one uses an adverb instead.

go-store-HAB-2p.SG
"You go to the store (every day)."

fly-HAB-3p.PL bird
"Birds fly."
Check out Ussaria!

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Re: Interesting case system

Post by eldin raigmore » 13 Jan 2017 05:23

Hyolobrika wrote:Indirect subject could be when both are present the manipulator of the direct subject and is in general the person or thing that sets off an action without directly doing it (e.g. a teacher who tells their students to do a particular problem without doing it themself).
So, "indirect subject" is initial instigator or agent-of-cause, and "direct subject" is final performer or causee or agent-of-effect?
Good, I like that!
And the instigator goes in the "anti-vocative" because he/she/it/they is/are/could be the source of an imperative to the causee?
I like that too!

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I still think you have some things to work out to make this consistent. But it's probably possible!

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Re: Interesting case system

Post by Hyolobrika » 13 Jan 2017 13:28

eldin raigmore wrote:And the instigator goes in the "anti-vocative" because he/she/it/they is/are/could be the source of an imperative to the causee?
It could, but not neccesarily,
You see, note that - as in other languages - the vocative identifies the destination of the information while the absolutive and the 'benefactive' identify the destinations of the action.
So - in the same way - the antivocative contains evidential information (it is the source of the information, hence it is the opposite of the vocative) wheras the causative and ergative are sources of the action hence they are opposites of the 'benefactive' and absolutive respectively.

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