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Re: Ergative?

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 30, 2002, 12:16
En réponse à The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>:

> > While this aspect of ergativity ("morphological ergativity") is the > most > obvious, ergative languages often exhibit other features that make > things a > bit more complicated. For one thing, most ergative languages are not > "strictly" ergative. That is, many exhibit mixed or split paradigms > that > require accusative forms under certain conditions. AFMCL, amman iar > uses a > split ergative paradigm along an animacy continuum that causes speech > act > pronouns and demonstratives to take nominative/accusative forms. > Another, > often overlooked, aspect of ergativity is "syntactic ergativity" > whereby > clause combinations and the omission of coreferential constituents in > clause > combinations are subject to ergatively motivated constraints. This is > also > a feature of amman iar. I discuss these features with a number of > examples > at For anyone > serious about understanding ergativity I would recommend reading > Dixon's > text "Ergativity". >
Well, I know all that, but since the person had stated that he didn't know anything about ergativity, and since my explanatory skills are limited (I wish I had the ease of most people here to transform complex concepts into obvious explanations :(( ), I just gave a simple explanation of pure morphological ergativity. I thought of adding a bit about split-ergativity, to spice up the sauce, but decided that my explanations probably had confused the poor guy even more than he was before (you see how much I trust my skills :)) ), so I stopped there, knowing that someone else on the list would provide for better explanations. Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.


The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>