"Díolann deichniúr ag an margadh."
Translation:Ten people sell at the market.
In my opinion "sell" sounds really weird without a direct object. I am trying to think of an English word that sounds natural without an object and means "sell", but I can't. I would say "Ten people sell things at the market".
“Sell” can be either transitive or intransitive, so I guess that its intransitive weirdness is in the ear of the listener. Does a sentence like “I buy and you sell.” really sound so weird?
It depends on the context. If I was having a conversation with someone about a specific thing and he/she said "I buy and you sell" with implicit understanding that we're discussing that one thing, then it sounds okay. But just to say that someone "sells" at a supermarket with no other context sounds really, really weird to me.
In fact, "Ten people sell at the supermarket" sounds to me like an example of middle voice, where the grammar is active but the meaning is passive, i.e., "Then people sell at the supermarket" would mean "Ten people are bought/sold at the supermarket." Someone is buying the ten people themselves and not what those people are selling. That's how I understood this sentence when I first read it because the verb "sell" is so commonly used in the middle voice.
Its use with “supermarket” would sound odd, but the original sentence just used “market”. Instead of “supermarket”, try “farmers’ market” — Does “Ten people sell at the farmers’ market.” still sound weird?
I don’t see the middle voice comparison, since there’s no confusion as to whether the subject is agent or patient in that sentence; the ten people are unambiguously the agent, with the patient (whatever they happen to sell) simply remaining unmentioned.
Well, then it might come down to a dialect difference between us. In my opinion, it sounds really weird to say "Those people sell at the market." If you don't include some kind of direct object, then it sounds like you're using the middle voice. I mean, obviously the listener will gather that you aren't actually using the middle voice because most people don't buy other people. But grammatically, it does sound like the middle voice to me which would make me reformulate this sentence if I were going to actually use it in a conversation. But that's just my preference.
I agree. The usual intransitive meaning of 'sell' is what you call the middle voice ('these eggs sell for three euro the dozen'). Maybe it is a slave market?
Then again, I can imagine a financial trader saying something like 'I was selling all morning, then I started buying like crazy after lunch'. Or a salesman saying, 'I go out selling every day'.