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date: 22 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues – closely following the insights of Berge (2011) – that the ergative clause structure of the Inuit language is conditioned by information structure properties, more precisely by its topic comment properties. It articulates a formal model where the morphosyntactic properties result from this information structure trigger. Furthermore it shows that not only does the model correctly account for the split case and agreement properties of the Inuit language, but also other relevant properties discussed in the literature, i.e., scope properties of objects and aspect. It is also argued that objects in this language are introduced through an applicative head (Basilico 2012), after which they either topicalize or get assigned oblique case.

Keywords: ergativity, Inuit, information structure, topic, cliticization, agreement, ergative split

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