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VSO language evolving from Nom/Acc to Erg/Abs

From:Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 9:52
Suppose we have a language with the following features-

VSO basic word order.
Nominative/Accusative argument structure.
Verbs marked for person and number of subject.
No overt accusative marking - subjects and objects are distinguished

Now suppose that the language evolves towards an Ergative/Absolute argument
structure. What changes would you expect to take place? The first idea that
comes to mind is that the person and number marking on transitive verbs is
reinterpreted as referring to the object. What else might happen?



Joe <joe@...>