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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The DP subject of a Warlpiri finite clause containing verbs of a certain class is marked with the ergative suffix whereas other DP subjects are morphologically unmarked. This chapter examines the wider distribution in Warlpiri of the ergative morpheme and the varied functions of ergative-marked DPs in both finite and non-finite clauses. Particular focus is on the relationship between the subject-marking and instrument adjunct-marking role of the ergative suffix. Unlike finite transitive clauses in which both an agent subject and an instrument adjunct are marked ergative, in non-finite clauses only one of these can be marked ergative: the instrument adjunct in clauses where the agent subject is realized either as phonologically null PRO or as a dative case-marked DP external to the verb phrase; the agent or instrument subject contained in the infinitival phrase embedded in a stative predicate whose external subject is co-referent with the logical object of the embedded verb.

Keywords: Australian languages, case-marking, case alternations, ergative case, marked and unmarked cases, morphological ergativity, syntactic ergativity, voice and case, Warlpiri

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