Article published in:Ergativity in Amazonia
Edited by Spike Gildea and Francesc Queixalós
[Typological Studies in Language 89] 2010
► pp. 159–200
Counter-universal split ergativity in Jê and Cariban
Nominative-absolutive alignment is a form of split-ergativity in two ways. The first split is internal to the clause type, which presents both nominative and absolutive morphological patterns with no corresponding accusative or ergative patterns: most present no nominal case-marking (although in two of the languages described here, free pronouns can be used only for nominative arguments); where there is auxiliary agreement, it is always with the nominative; absolutive pronominal enclitics mark the main verb. The label nominative-absolutive follows from the absence of a distinct marked accusative or ergative pattern. The second split is based on tense-aspect-mood-polarity, in which the nominative-absolutive clauses code future, imperfective, irrealis, and negative. These patterns are both counter to the expected universal patterns identified in the typological literature: no other cases have been identified in which case-marking is nominative while verbal cross-referencing is absolutive, and the universally expected semantic values of the ergative clause type are, respectively, past, perfective, realis and positive. We conclude by asking if the number of counter-examples to putative universals of split ergativity should lead us to question the validity of the definition for the typological category “ergative construction”.
Published online: 19 May 2010
Cited by 5 other publications
Dahl, Eystein & Krzysztof Stroński
Galucio, Ana Vilacy & Antônia Fernanda de Souza Nogueira
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 10 october 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.