Argument Promotion

The first noun in a clause is the subject, which is prototypically the agent in transitive sentences and the patient in intransitive sentences. However, suffixes can be added to the verb to promote other nouns in the clause, other than the genitive.

There are three such verbal suffixes, which can be stacked, however, once something has been shifted from the subject position, it can’t be promoted again.

Passive

The passive suffix promotes the object. This suffix has the forms:

The old subject is then marked with the ablative case. A sentence with this marker is intransitive. The demoted item is not compulsory, but if it is put in, it is the first ablative-marked noun in the new sentence.

Ablative

The ablative suffix promotes the ablative. It has the form:

The old subject is demoted to object, and the old object is demoted to dative. A sentence with this marker is transitive. The first dative-marked noun in the new sentence is the demoted item.

Dative

The suffix -xa promotes a dative. The old subject is demoted to object, and the old object (if any) is demoted to dative. A sentence with this marker is transitive.

Adposition

To promote a adpositional phrase to subject, prefix the verb with the adposition. The old subject is demoted to object. The old object, if any, is demoted to dative.