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date: 15 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the nature of case licensing of the direct object in ergative constructions in Hindi, a split ergative language. Split ergativity in Hindi is conditioned by aspect – perfective transitive constructions display ergative case marking while non-perfective clauses do not. The chapter argues that in Hindi the morphologically bare direct object in an ergative construction is case licensed by T(ense) and not by little v as argued recently by Legate (2008) and others. The evidence for this proposal comes from examining the syntax of perfective and imperfective prenominal relative clauses, an empirical domain in Hindi that has not been previously examined from the perspective of case licensing. The restrictions found on what arguments can be relativized in prenominal relative clauses provide crucial evidence for the nature of case licensing in Hindi participial clauses and that evidence in turn bears upon the nature of object case licensing in ergative constructions.

Keywords: case, ergativity, morphological case, case licensing, ergative case, absolutive case, Differential Object Marking

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