Deconstructing Ergativity: Two Types of Ergative Languages and Their Features Maria Polinsky

ISBN: 9780190256593

Published:

Paperback

408 pages


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Deconstructing Ergativity: Two Types of Ergative Languages and Their Features  by  Maria Polinsky

Deconstructing Ergativity: Two Types of Ergative Languages and Their Features by Maria Polinsky
| Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 408 pages | ISBN: 9780190256593 | 10.17 Mb

Nominative-accusative and ergative are two common alignment types found across languages. In the former type, the subject of an intransitive verb and the subject of a transitive verb are expressed the same way, and differently from the object of aMoreNominative-accusative and ergative are two common alignment types found across languages.

In the former type, the subject of an intransitive verb and the subject of a transitive verb are expressed the same way, and differently from the object of a transitive. In ergative languages, the subject of an intransitive and the object of a transitive appear in the same form, the absolutive, and the transitive subject has a special, ergative, form.

Ergative languages often follow very different patterns, thus evading a uniform description and analysis. A simple explanation for that has to do with the idea that ergative languages, much as their nominative-accusative counterparts, do not form a uniform class.

In this book, Maria Polinsky argues that ergative languages instantiate two main types, the one where the ergative subject is a prepositional phrase (PP-ergatives) and the one with a noun-phrase ergative. Each type is internally consistent and is characterized by a set of well-defined properties.The book begins with an analysis of syntactic ergativity, which as Polinsky argues, is a manifestation of the PP-ergative type.

Polinsky discusses diagnostic properties that define PPs in general and then goes to show that a subset of ergative expressions fit the profile of PPs. Several alternative analyses have been proposed to account for syntactic ergativity- the book presents and outlines these analyses and offers further considerations in support of the PP-ergativity approach.

The book then discusses the second type, DP-ergative languages, and traces the diachronic connection between the two types.The book includes two chapters illustrating paradigm PP-ergative and DP-ergative languages: Tongan and Tsez. The data used in these descriptions come from Polinskys original fieldwork hence presenting new empirical facts from both languages.



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