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ERIC Number: ED310620
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Oct
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
How Ergative Is Basque?
Arrieta, Kutz; And Others
The extent to which Basque displays ergative characteristics (an ergative language treats the underlying subject of intransitive clauses alike in some manner and differently from the underlying subject of transitive clauses) in its syntax is examined. The amount of evidence needed to conclude that Basque or any other language is ergative is discussed, and conflicting claims regarding the Basque language's ergativity are addressed. It is concluded that: (1) making general pronouncements about the syntax of a language can be a mistake if the claim is based only on cursory examination of a single construction type; (2) Basque does not exhibit a syntax that shows the same type of alignment of core semantico-syntactic relations as do non-ergative languages; (3) the presence of a variety of syntactic alignments in Basque provides support for the tripartite division of the core semantico-syntactic relations into transitive subject, transitive object, and intransitive subject; and (4) Basque does not display any "split ergativity" by which ergative morphological patterns are found only in some formal categories. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A