Two of the most important issues in the discussion of ergativity concern the pattern of syntactic organization and notion of subject in ergative languages. A number of scholars have claimed that most morphologically ergative languages are in fact syntactically accusative. Data from four ergative languages (Archi, Enga, Jacaltec and Dyirbal) are examined with regard to these two questions. It is found that each of these languages differs from the others both in syntactic organization and notion of subject, and these facts call into question recent claims about the syntax of ergative languages.
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Butler, Christopher S.
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2008. Direct and indirect explanations of typopological regularities: The case of alignment variations. Folia Linguistica 42:1-2 ► pp. 1 ff.
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Cumming, Susanna & Fay Wouk
1987. Is there ‘discourse ergativity’ in Austronesian languages?. Lingua 71:1-4 ► pp. 271 ff.
2005. Configurationality in the Languages of New Guinea* * I wish to acknowledge the contributions of many conversations with Bill Foley and Jane Simpson about matters discussed in the following article, made possible by the research environment provided by the University of Sydney. Further, two patient AJL reviewers have improved the clarity of this article immensely, a host of patient grammar-writers have both unknowingly and knowingly supplied data, and several classes of sometimes patient students in several continents who have seen these ideas tried out and refined, and our Lani friends in Australia and Papua, especially Indep Wanimbo deserve thanks for their patience. The usual disclaimers apply.. Australian Journal of Linguistics 25:2 ► pp. 181 ff.
1998. On the interaction of morphological and syntactic ergativity: Lessons from Kurdish. Lingua 105:3-4 ► pp. 149 ff.
Jones, Linda K.
1986. The question of Ergativity in Yawa, a Papuan language∗. Australian Journal of Linguistics 6:1 ► pp. 37 ff.
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Legate, Julie Anne
2008. Morphological and Abstract Case. Linguistic Inquiry 39:1 ► pp. 55 ff.
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