Download Case and Agreement in Inuit by Reineke BOK-Bennema PDF

Download Case and Agreement in Inuit by Reineke BOK-Bennema PDF

By Reineke BOK-Bennema

The structure of the human language school has been one of many major foci of the linguistic examine of the final part century. This department of linguistics, generally referred to as Generative Grammar, is anxious with the formula of explanatory formal money owed of linguistic phenomena with the ulterior objective of gaining perception into the houses of the 'language organ'. The sequence includes top of the range monographs and picked up volumes that tackle such matters. the themes during this sequence variety from phonology to semantics, from syntax to details constitution, from mathematical linguistics to stories of the lexicon.

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Example text

Transitive verbs in Georgian generally act as accusative assigners, with one exception: the direct object of the verb in the aorist series is never accusative. Apparently, the specific morphology of these series prevents the verb from assigning (accusative) Case. In the foregoing sections we have seen how the Case problem posed by the absence of accusative Case gives rise to ergativity. On the basis of this, one expects the Georgian aorist to manifest an ergative pattern, which it indeed does. We will show here that the ergative Case pattern of the Georgian aorist is comparable to that of Inuit: it involves a 'special Case' for the subject of transitive verbs and of nominative direct objects.

3. 1. 3. we mentioned the fact that ergative phenomena can also be found in accusative languages. The hypothesis that ergative languages parametrically differ from accusative languages either in the rules that provide for the spelling out of Case, or in the manner in which thematic roles are projected onto grammatical functions, not only has as a consequence that the two types of ergative languages must be assumed to be completely unrelated, but it also excludes any relationship between ergative phenomena in accusative languages and those that occur in ergative languages.

But, compared to the former, the Inuit languages have another structural Case available in transitive finite clauses: this is the 'ergative', which we have shown to have the same characteristics as the genitive Case assigned to the possessor in NPs. This parallelism between ergative and genitive led us to the proposal that the rule for genitive assignment to the 'subject' of NPs is extended to transitive finite clauses. Once the subject of such a clause has genitive Case, the nominative becomes available for another NP.

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