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About this product
- DescriptionNominative-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 minative-accusative counterparts, do t 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 un-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 diagstic 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 Polinsky's original fieldwork hence presenting new empirical facts from both languages.
- Author BiographyMaria Polinsky is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Maryland, College Park. She investigates the syntax of natural languages, with a particular emphasis on language universals and the range of variation in sentence structure. She has produced detailed syntactic analyses of a number of lesser-studied languages and has a long-standing interest in the ways different grammatical models can be used to analyze syntactic phenomena.
- Author(s)Maria Polinsky
- PublisherOxford University Press Inc
- Date of Publication26/05/2016
- Series TitleOxford Studies in Comparative Syntax
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintOxford University Press Inc
- Weight574 g
- Width157 mm
- Height236 mm
- Spine22 mm
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