- Case/agreement interactions (Bobaljik 2008): While some languages have an ergative-absolutive case system and a nominative-accusative agreement system, the reverse is unattested (Anderson 1977; Dixon 1979).
- A’-extraction restrictions (Deal 2016): In some morphologically ergative languages, ergative DPs are restricted from undergoing A’-extraction (see Polinsky to appear).
Let’s talk about case, baby.
Let’s talk about S, A, P.
Let’s talk about all the ERG things,
And the ABS things, that may be.
Let’s talk about case, let’s talk about case.
Apologies; I failed to skip spring break, so the next few meetings were scheduled a week earlier than they actually were. It’s fixed now.
Please join us this coming Tuesday at 11am to hear Colin Brown tell us all about syntactic ergativity in Gitksan!
This week we heard from Martha Schwartz on split ergativity in Nepali.
DPs that are always ergative-marked: subject of a perfective transitive clause
DPs that are never ergative-marked: objects, subject of unaccusatives
DPs that are optionally marked and/or subject to speaker variation: subject of an imperfective transitive clause, unergative subject
- This is the same distribution as in Tibetan
- Some possible things that might affect whether ERG is marked in the optional/variable situations (mostly lifted from Jessica’s research on Tibetan):
- degree of surprise: surprising = erg-marked
- focus: focused = erg-marked
- degree of certainty (= evidentiality?)
- animacy: lower animacy could be more likely to have erg marker
- 2 forms for 4 cases:
- -le = ERG and INSTR
- -laai = DOM and DAT
Our next speaker is Martha Schwartz, who will discuss her research on split ergativity in Nepali.
Tuesday, February 16, 11-12
The schedule for Winter 2016 has been posted; you can find it on the homepage and also in the newly-created Google Calendar, also on the homepage.
This semester we’ll meet every week, and approximately alternate between reading and discussing a paper and presenting our own research. Normally the paper we read will be related to the research presented the following week.
In reading weeks, attendees are encouraged to read the paper and come with a couple of questions or comments. But all are welcome regardless of preparation!