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Re: Lexicalising Ergativity

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 23, 2004, 19:58
From:    =?iso-8859-1?Q?J=F6rg?= Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
> Georgian is actually accusative in the present > and split-S (rather than purely ergative) in the aorist.
I wouldn't say that's exactly the case. In the present series, NP-1 is marked with a nominative case, NP-2 is marked with dative, and any NP3 is also dative. In the aorist, NP-1 is ergative, NP-2 is nominative, and NP-3 is dative. Thus, superficially, the present series looks more like a kind of obligatory antipassivization, but for a number of reasons this is probably not a good synchronic analysis (whatever the case diachronically). The Georgian present series, I would say, is neither accusative, nor ergative, nor Split-S, nor Fluid-S, nor hierarchical, nor any other system of which I am aware.
> And third, there are languages such as Dyirbal (an aboriginal > Australian language) with ergative marking on nouns and accusative > marking on pronouns. (See also Thomas Wier's Phaleran for a > conlang example of such marking.)
Thanks for the plug :) More specifically, first and second person pronouns have an accusative system; regular nouns and third obviative pronouns have an ergative system. Third proximate pronouns have neither: all three roles of S, A, and O are morphologically distinct (in the standard at any rate; some dialects have collapsed some distinctions). ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637