Ambitransitive verbs can be used with or without an argument in the object position.
These verbs deal with the subject’s ability to perceive stimuli.
When used purely intransitively,
i.e.: with no direct or dative object, they refer to a general ability to use that sense:
Guli ruku ’usa.
.%L / w$ / us.
guli ruku ’usa.
blind_person fut;gno future gnomic see.
“The blind person can now see.”
When used with a direct
object, this denotes a conscious effort at perception:
Ju’ipu’a ’usa bumaki.
.Yioa / us / OmK.
ju’ipu’a ’usa bumaki.
assembly see screen.
“The audience watched the screen.”
When used with a
dative object, this instead lacks that effort:
Mihu kulasidaxi ju’isataduru ’usa.
.MV / $lSdX / YistEw / us.
mihu ku- lasida- xi ju’isatadu -ru ’usa.
3ani;int animate third person intransitive - dat dative secret-seem conversation- ger gerund see.
“She saw the secret meeting.”
The communication itself is the
object, and the recipient is dative.
Kimilli kul·lani ’i ’issi.
.KM;L / $WlN / i / i;S.
kimilli ku- lulani ’i ’issi.
king - dat dative song speak queen
“The king sang to the queen.”
Indirect speech is signified by a
Kimilli jusi ’i li lu’i lulani ru.
.KM;L / $L / Wi / WlN / w / i / MV.
kimilli jusi ’i li lu’i lulani ru.
king 3ani;dat animate third person dative speak com complementiser love queen . prs;gno present gnomic
“The king told him he loved the queen.”
Directly reported communication is separated from the main clause by a comma, and may be put on either side. In this case, the recipient may be in either the
object position or dative. This argument structure can also be used without a specific communication.
(Mica,) kimilli ’i lulani.
.Mc , KM;L / i / WlN.
mica,) kimilli ’i lulani.
hello,) king speak queen.
“The king said ‘hello’ / spoke to the queen.”
’i i to speak
buma Om to draw
pa p to think
ma m to consider