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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a further investigation into the hypothesis that deverbal nominalizations across languages show an ergative case-marking pattern. It is argued that this is attributed to the presence of a defective v (or Voice) in their syntactic representation. The main concern of the chapter is to address the question what it is about nounness that obligatorily triggers the presence of an ergative case pattern. It is argued that this follows from the requirement that nominalizers embed structures that do not project external arguments. Specifically, the presence of a nominalizer head in a syntactic structure creates an environment in which only one argument can receive structural Case. As a result, an ergative case pattern emerges.

Keywords: nominalizations, ergativity, dependent case, Agree, passive, unaccusative requirement

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