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Topic: Ergative language

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  Ergative-absolutive language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An ergative-absolutive language (or simply ergative) is one that treats the agent of transitive verbs distinctly from the subject of intransitive verbs and the object of transitive verbs.
The distinguishing feature of an ergative language is that it maintains an equivalence between the object of a transitive verb and the subject of an intransitive verb, while treating the agent of a transitive verb differently.
In this language, the subject otoko of intransitive and agent of transitive sentences is marked with the same nominative case ga.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Ergative-absolutive_language   (1400 words)

 Active-stative language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An active language is one where the only argument of an intransitive verb is marked sometimes in the same way as the agent of a transitive verb (that is, like a subject in English), and sometimes in the same way as the direct object of a transitive verb.
For most languages of this type, the case of the intransitive argument is lexically fixed for each verb, regardless of the actual degree of volition of the subject, but often corresponding to the most typical situation.
If the language has morphological case, then the arguments of a transitive verb are marked using the agentive case for the subject and the patientive case for the object, while the argument of an intransitive verb may be marked as either.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Active_language   (746 words)

 Sumerian Language & Writing
The Sumerian language of ancient Sumer was spoken in Southern Mesopotamia from at least the 4th millennium BC.
Sumerian, the oldest known written language in human history, was spoken in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and peripheral regions) throughout the third millennium BC and survived as an esoteric written language until the death of the cuneiform tradition around the time of Christ.
In an ergative language the subject of a sentence with a direct object is in the so-called ergative case, which in Sumerian is marked with the suffix -e.
www.crystalinks.com /sumerlanguage.html   (911 words)

Said of active languages where the grammatical subject (S) is marked with one of two core cases, Agentive or Patientive, according to the semantics of the verb and the context.
Said of active languages where the grammatical subject (S) of intransitive verbs is marked with one of two core cases, Agentive or Patientive, according to the semantics of the verb, for each given verb.
Contrast this with nominative-accusative languages, where the subject is always marked with one case (conventionally known as the Nominative), and with ergative-absolutive languages, where the subject is marked according to the transitivity of the verb (a syntactic property).
www.angelfire.com /scifi2/nyh/glossary.html   (4857 words)

 Kurdish language - Encyclopedia, History, Geography and Biography
The Kurdish language is an Indo-Iranian language spoken in the region loosely called Kurdistan, including Kurdish populations in parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.Geographic distribution of Kurdish and other Iranic languages Kurdish is an official language in Iraq while it is banned in Syria.
Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish, prohibiting the language in education and broadcast media.Special Focus Cases: Leyla Zana, Prisoner of Conscience In Iran, though it is used in the local media and newspapers, only a few schools teach the language.
The Kurdish language belongs to the western sub-group of the Iranian languages which belong to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages family.
www.arikah.net /encyclopedia/Kurdish_language   (1719 words)

 [No title]
Ergative languages are commonly described as only allowing relativization on S (Subject of an intransitive sentence) and O or P (Direct Object of a transitive sentence), but not the A (Subject of a transitive sentence).
Traditionally, ergative languages have been characterized as languages in which the subject of an intransitive sentence and the direct object of a transitive sentence have the same morphological marking (usually understood to include case inflection/case marker and agreement), but the subject of a transitive sentence has a distinct marking (Dixon 1972, 1979, and 1994).
In this paper, ergative languages refer to languages in which the subject of an intransitive sentence and the direct object of a transitive sentence have the same grammatical relation coding (case marker and/or word order), but the subject of a transitive sentence has a distinct grammatical relation coding.
www2.hawaii.edu /~hsiuchua/wp-NPAH.ergative.doc   (5016 words)

 UCLA Language Materials Project Language Profiles Page
Among the vowels, a long/short distinction exists and is contrastive in the language.
Although in most circumstances, the assignment of case mirrors that of a Nominative-Accusative language (subjects of both transitive and intransitive verbs surface in the nominative case), in the past tense, case marking is more akin to that of an Ergative language.
Payne, J.R. The Decay of Ergativity in Pamir Languages.
www.lmp.ucla.edu /Profile.aspx?LangID=193&menu=004   (1386 words)

 Georgian: Verbal Syntax and Ergativity
Ergativity in and of itself is not exceptionally marked in a language, although traditional linguistics, which has been based upon the work of Indo-European-speaking scholars, for whom ergativity seemed foreign and therefore unnatural, has tended to regard ergativity as something strange or uncommon.
The Caucasian language family is one of the most significant in terms of European ergative language groups; most of its members have some form of ergativity inherent to their syntax and structure, and offer interesting cases of study since they have been fairly well-documented and are still readily accessible to field workers.
This is rather unusual in terms of language universals: if a language is ergative, most often it either does not have a passive construction, or the ergative may in some way double as a type of passive.
www.nthuleen.com /papers/L12paperprint.html   (1666 words)

 Ergativity in Indo-Aryan   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
Historically, the construction which the ergative pattern is based on was inherited by all the modern languages from the parent language, Sanskrit.
It is indubitably the case that the modern ergative patterns occur primarily in conjunction with the verbal morphology descended from the original Sanskrit -ta.
Ergativity as Licensed by the Development of IP In contrast, Deo 2001a argues that the historical development of ergativity in modern Indo-Aryan languages can be explained by a cross-linguistically attested historical shift: the development of a more articulated phrase structure in the form of an IP.
www.stanford.edu /~adeo/ia-erg.html   (3275 words)

 LINGUIST List 6.642: Morphological vs syntactic ergativity
Since then, syntactic ergativity has surfaced in various places, but it does still seem to be the case that most syntactic processes that are sensitive to grammatical relations in morphologically ergative languages are oriented to the nominative/ accusative distinction.
There are, however, some ergative languages (Dyirbal is the most consistent example I know) where the patient of such sentences is not only morphologically the subject, but also acts like one syntactically.
That is, the properties in question in most ergative languages pertain to the Highest-Ranking argument and hence apply only to those morphological subjects which are also (with Theme- location verbs or the like, or after passive or "anti-passive" has applied) the highest-rankign arguments.
www.ling.ed.ac.uk /linguist/issues/6/6-642.html   (1466 words)

 interdisciplines : Causalit√© : Expressing Causality in Natural Language. A Pragmatic Perspective
What seems to be an universal property of causative construction in natural language is that the use of the causative operator in addition to a causative verb conveys the implicature (= the pragmatically inferred meaning) that the means to cause the event is not an ordinary one.
This type of construction, called ergative (the ergative case is the mark of the agent in ergative languages, such as Basque), has the special property to entail a resulting state, described by the causative predicate:
In the ergative (transitive) constructions, the agent, the causal event and the patient are expressed, but the event entails the resulting state (the meaning of a causative verb is to entail the resulting state)
www.interdisciplines.org /causality/papers/15/1/language/fr   (2699 words)

 Ergativity in Suleimaniye Kurdish
In the case of any one particular language, it may not always be obvious whether the grammar is ergative/absolutive or nominative/accusative; this is true partially because grammars which employ features of the ergative/absolutive system tend to employ a combination of both systems, rather than being purely ergative.
Ergativity in the morphology of a language manifests itself through the means employed for marking (identifying) grammatical function [ Anderson 1976:3 ].
The measure of syntactic ergativity present in a language can be gauged by the extent to which the application of syntactic rules differentiates subject and object as a class separate from agent.
home.earthlink.net /~rcfriend/ESK.htm   (7249 words)

 Ergativity - Cambridge University Press   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
Although there is only one ergative language in Europe (Basque), perhaps one-quarter of the world's languages show ergative properties, and pose considerable difficulties for many current linguistic theories.
Dixon here provides a full survey of the various types of ergativity, looking at the ways they interrelate, their semantic bases and their role in the organisation of discourse.
Ergativity stems from R. Dixon's long-standing interest in the topic, and in particular from his seminal 1979 paper in Language.
www.cup.cam.ac.uk /catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521444462   (214 words)

 Basque (Euskara)
Scholars speculate that it is the only language remaining of those that were spoken in southwestern Europe before the arrival of Indo-Europeans.
Their culture dates back to Palaeolithic times, which makes their language the most ancient language of Europe in terms of continuous occupation of the territory where it spoken.
In ergative-absolutive languages, the absolutive is the grammatical case used to mark both the subject of an intransitive verb and the object of a transitive verb.
www.nvtc.gov /lotw/months/february2006/basque.html   (969 words)

 GFs in Basque
Basque is an ergative language, that means it is a language where subjects of transitive verbs (A) are marked for the ergative (Erg) case and subjects of intransitives (S) and direct objects of transitives (O) are both marked for the absolutive (Abs) case.
Thus ergativity presents apparent difficulty for identifying morpho-syntactic properties of Subject and Object since not only subject arguments of transitive and intransitive verbs are marked differently, but, moreover, direct objects are marked in the same way as some subjects.
The same way as other ergative languages, there is a well-known case of split in the person agreement system cross-referencing noun phrases on the verb.
www.uiowa.edu /~linguist/classes/typology99/languages/Basque/GFs.html   (1751 words)

 Ergativity main page
I argue that ergative case is not equivalent to nominative nor to accusative case in that it is direct, inherent and assigned internally to vP to the external agent argument.
Thus, at least one instance of syntactic ergativity is shown to be a manifestation of morphological ergativity.
We conclude that ergativity characteristics vary not only from language to language but even within languages and within particular constructions raising serious doubt as to whether there is a macroparameter of ergativity and even whether there is a necessary clustering of ergative characteristics in any construction.
www.chass.utoronto.ca /~ajohns/ergativity.html   (1437 words)

Ubykh is a language of the Northwestern Caucasian group, which was spoken by the people of the same name up until the early 1990s.
The language is known in the linguistic literature by many names: variants of Ubykh, such as Ubikh, Ubih (Turkish) and Oubykh (French); and Pekhi (derived from Ubykh t w aqhæ) and its Germanicisedicised variant Päkhy.
It is an ergative language, making no syntactic distinction between the subject of an intransitive sentence and the direct object of a transitive sentence.\n* It is highly agglutinative, using mainly monosyllabic or bisyllabic roots, but with single morphological words sometimes reaching eight or nine syllables in length.
www.adygaunion.com /en/news-ubykh.php   (2670 words)

 TÄÎKSIRI: Concepts
Ergative case marking is one manner in how subjects and objects are treated by a language.
In an Ergative language, the grouping is different.
The only thing that I believe approaches it is Hungarian definite/indefinite verb markings, and some native american languages, in which some clitic pronouns can be interpreted as subject or object, depending on the presence of other clitic pronouns.
www.zece.com /conlang/taiksiri/concepts.html   (753 words)

 What's Happening: Linguistics Colloquia, Linguistics Dept., WCAS   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
In many other ergative languages, on the other hand, it is the ergative nominal which functions as the subject of a transitive clause.
My work in ergativity over the past several years has focused on identifying the fundamental properties of syntactic ergativity and the microparameters which account for variation among these languages.
Beyond broadening understanding of the phenomenon of ergativity and refining analyses of known ergative languages, a clear picture of ergative syntax and its typology enables linguists to identify and classify languages which have hitherto fallen through the typological cracks.
www.wcas.northwestern.edu /linguistics/happening/aldridge.html   (346 words)

 Baltic and Indo-European Ergative - Jiri Marvan
In the last ten years, attention to the problem of IE ergative was renewed and intensified,2 especially in the Soviet Union.
On the other hand, contemporary syndromistic linguistics considers its information considerably more valuable: as a living language, it offers an inexhaustible amount of information; its structure can be analyzed in a much more detailed manner both syn-chronically and diachronically, than that of the extinct languages which offer only limited and fragmentary information about their corpus.
It is necessary to consider the ergative structure as a universal complement of the objective structure.
www.lituanus.org /1973/73_1_04.htm   (1653 words)

 Case: Interaction between Syntax and Discourse Grammar
The phenomenon of split ergativity shows that, contrary to the usual description, the only real difference between nominative-accusative languages and ergative languages is the existence of ergative Case.
Under this view, accusative Case morphology in ergative languages is generally morphologically null (or identical to the nominative morphology).
The fact that the form derives historically from an ancestral ergative is, of course, just as irrelevant to the synchronic analysis of Dyirbal as the fact that most of the English accusative pronouns derive from Old English datives is to the synchronic analysis of English.
csli-publications.stanford.edu /LFG/3/falk.html   (4528 words)

 Direct Textbooks Price Comparison for ISBN 0781809339: Beginner's Basque (Hippocrene Beginner's)   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
In ergative languages, the subject is marked with an agentive prefix or postfix, so that the direct object of a transitive verb has the same case as the subject of an intransitive verb.
This is what is called the ergative case, and its case marker is different from the absolutive case for subjects of transitive verbs.

There are three grammatical cases in Basque, the ergative, absolutive, and dative, although there is something that could be called the vocative, too.

The ergative case is marked with what is called an "epenthetic" k at the end of the word.
www.directtextbook.com /price.php?q=0781809339&p=prices&shippingtime=5   (454 words)

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