- 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!
In this post, I will describe step by step how to contribute to the Ergativity Questionnaire, and more generally how to use this website as an author.
Registering and logging in
If you have not yet created an account, register for an account. By default, creating an account will allow you as a visitor to save answers to Questionnaire questions, but it will not allow you to write new content. Once you have created an account, contact the administrator (now mitcho) and ask to be made an “author.”
If you already have a login, you should log in. In general, “log in” and “register” links should be at the very top of the page when you visit the site and are not logged in.
Creating a new question
Once you have logged in, you should see a “new” link at the top of the screen. This is a menu, and there should be an option to create a new question.
You will be taken to an editor where you will enter a title. Otherwise, see “writing in the editor” below.
Editing an existing question
To edit an existing question, go to the question’s page and click on “Edit Question” at the top of the screen.
Now see the section “writing in the editor” below.
Writing in the editor
The editor has two modes, “visual” and “text,” which you can toggle in the top right corner of the editing box. “Text” means raw HTML. Either can be used. Here’s a picture of the editor:
Every Question description must have a line with the text “[answer]“. This will be where the interactive answer options will go.
Glossed examples can be written, using the Simple Interlinear Glosses plugin:
Open with [gloss]], enter words separated by spaces, then enter matching glosses on the next line, then end with [[/gloss]. Free translations go outside this formatting block.
Setting up answers
Each Question should set up a multiple-choice question. (More open-ended questions are not yet supported.) These answers are specified in the “Answers” box below the editor:
Each answer has a “value” and descriptive text. The text will be shown to visitors, whereas the “values” are used internally to guide visitors to appropriate questions. Do not change existing answer “values”!