ergative(redirected from ergatives)
Related to ergatives: Intransitive verbs
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.
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]
er•ga•tive(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.n.
4. an ergative verb.
5. the ergative case.
6. a word in the ergative case.
[1945–50; < Greek ergát(ēs) worker]
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.”