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Deconstructing ErgativityTwo Types of Ergative Languages and Their Features$
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Maria Polinsky

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190256586

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190256586.001.0001

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(p.3) Chapter 1 Introduction
Deconstructing Ergativity

Maria Polinsky

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the overall profile of ergative languages. It develops a distinction between morphological and syntactic ergativity. Syntactic ergativity is defined as restrictions on A-bar movement of the ergative, and this definition is therefore narrower than some other existing definitions (e.g., those of Kazenin, Manning). The chapter shows ways in which languages can circumvent the restrictions on A-bar movement of ergatives. It discusses methodological and terminological issues related to ergativity. The appendix to the chapter provides strategies used to circumvent the restriction on A-bar movement of the ergative (antipassive, anti-agreement, nominalizations, etc.).

Keywords:   ergativity, morphological ergativity, syntactic ergativity, antipassive, A-bar movement

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