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Related to ergative: absolutive


1. Of or relating to a language, such as Georgian, in which the subject of an intransitive verb and the object of a transitive verb are expressed by one grammatical case, and the subject of a transitive verb is expressed by another.
2. Of or relating to the grammatical case of the subject of a transitive verb in such a language.
1. The ergative case.
2. An ergative inflection.
3. A nominal having an ergative form.

[From Greek ergatēs, worker, from ergon, work; see werg- in Indo-European roots.]

er′ga·tiv′i·ty n.


(ˈɜːɡətɪv) linguistics
1. (Linguistics) denoting a type of verb that takes the same noun as either direct object or as subject, with equivalent meaning. Thus, "fuse" is an ergative verb: "He fused the lights" and "The lights fused" have equivalent meaning
2. (Linguistics) denoting a case of nouns in certain languages, for example, Inuktitut or Basque, marking a noun used interchangeably as either the direct object of a transitive verb or the subject of an intransitive verb
3. (Linguistics) denoting a language that has ergative verbs or ergative nouns
4. (Linguistics) an ergative verb
5. (Linguistics) an ergative noun or case of nouns
[C20: from Greek ergatēs a workman + -ive]


(ˈɜr gə tɪv)

1. of or designating a verb in which the subject of the intransitive construction is also the object of the transitive construction: The boat capsized. They capsized the boat.
a. of or designating a grammatical case, as in Basque or Georgian, that indicates the subject of a transitive verb and is distinct from the case indicating the subject of an intransitive verb.
b. similar to such a case in function or meaning, esp. in indicating an agent as subject.
3. of or pertaining to a language that has an ergative case or in which the direct object of a transitive verb and the subject of an intransitive verb are paired grammatically by other means.
4. an ergative verb.
5. the ergative case.
6. a word in the ergative case.
[1945–50; < Greek ergát(ēs) worker]
er`ga•tiv′i•ty, n.


Used to describe a case of verbs that take the same noun as either subject or object, for example “broke” in “She broke the glass” and “The glass broke.”


[ˈɜːgətɪv] ADJ (Ling) → ergativo
References in periodicals archive ?
I Transitive sentence pattern: NP-ga NP-o Ia Transitive sentence pattern: NP-ga NP-ni II Ergative sentence pattern: NP-ni NP-ga III Intransitive sentence pattern: NP-ga
Typologies such as Klimov's 'kontensivnaja tipologija' which distinguishes between ergative, active and nominative/accusative languages (Klimov 1983, 1986) are less relevant for the definition of the word concept.
Their topics include morphological parameters, case: ergative languages, parameters and argument structure: motion predicates and resultatives and causatives and applicatives, the functional structure of the clause: main issues, extended projections of the verb: inner aspect, head movement in the clausal domain, topic and focus, parameters in phonological analysis, and parameters in language acquisition and language contact.
The fact that the CPDB shows the various clause patterns that a given lexical verb may appear in allows for a thorough analysis of several lexical and syntactic phenomena dealt with in the linguistics classroom (such as ergative, dative and passive alternation) as well as syntactic and lexical ambiguity.
This essay proposes that dispositional predicates are generally derived from ergative verbs, those verbs that allow for certain entailments from transitive to intransitive forms (as "Sam broke the glass" entails "The glass broke").
46) "On the middle and ergative constructions in English", LI, 15 (1984), 381-416.
Appendix 3: Morphological glossing conventions IDU 1st person dual IPL 1st person plural 3SG 3rd person singular ABL ablative CAUS causative CER certain CNT continuous action DS different subject EMPH emphatic ERG ergative FRQ frequentative HAB habitant of HITH hither INCH inchoative INCP inceptive INST instrumental INT interrogative (.
We examine pronoun use to indicate positioning and then do an analysis of ergative transitivity to investigate the assignment of agency to various human and nonhuman actors represented in the observational instruments.
Here are the abbreviations we use in the Spanish and Basque glosses: ABS = absolutive, AUX = auxiliary, BEN = benefactive; CL = clitic, DAT = dative, DET = determiner, ERG = ergative, FUT = future, GEN = genitive, INE = inessive, PF = perfective, PRS = present, PST = past, PTCP = participle, SG = singular, 1 = first person, 2 = second person, 3 = third person.
For the purpose of framework, I first identify the DF in standard analysis (I [subject] broke [goal-oriented process] the vase [object]) and in ergative (3) analysis (I [actor] broke [process] the vase [medium]) of transitivity functions (the variable is not one of extension but of causation (4)) in detective discourse to follow an intentional action from unintentional.
Third, Basque is an ergative language (Laka, 2006).
This study sets out to explore the nature of Ergative Case marking in Pahari language.