from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A structuring property of the grammar of certain languages consisting in the differential treatment given to A (the subject of transitive verbs), in contrast to O (the object of transitive verbs) and S (the subject of intransitive verbs), which are treated similarly. This differential treatment may take the form of a special case marker (e.g., an affix or a particle) used with A but not with O or S, or of a specific agreement pattern (e.g., the verb may agree in person and number with A, but not with O and S).
In many cases, the ergativity may be syntactic in nature and solved with something like movement, which would like the universal intact.
Yes, like pretty much every other proposed universal, there are some potential counter-examples to universal linking rules, such as ergativity.
But there are also a few languages claimed to have "deep ergativity," which can't be solved by movement.
Strange, I've posted exactly about this pre-Etruscan *i- deictic and its relationship to animacy, ergativity, and PIE *i- before online somewhere Yahoogroups like Cybalist perhaps?
What I personally think happened was that the pronominal case system transmogrified due to ergativity.
In the global scheme of things, ergativity isn't exotic or rare; it's natural and common!
It sometimes strikes me that these "ergative Pre-IE proponents" are simply intoxicated by the mere exoticness (or should we say apparent exoticness) of ergativity, seduced by a fashion that will some day pass (hopefully).
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