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Re: Ergativity

From:Muke Tever <muke@...>
Date:Friday, August 15, 2003, 21:26
From: "Andreas Johansson" <andjo@...>
> Quoting Joe <joe@...>: > > From: "Andreas Johansson" <andjo@...> > > > Does this mean that there are purely accusative languages around? > > > > English seems pretty pure accusative. I don't know enough about Ergative > > languages to give an example of one of them, but from what I've heard, > > Basque is a good example of a pure Ergative lang... > > "This soup sells well" et sim have been quoted as proof that English is part- > ergative.
Ergativity requires S to be treated the same as P, which isnt the case here: P never dictates verb agreement [These soups sell well, not *these soups sells well]. In this S still has all the same functions as A, but with a middle sense of the verb [This soup sells itself well]. *Muke! --