Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 16 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys pathways that have been proposed for how ergative alignment develops diachronically in an accusative language. The most common source cited for ergative alignment is a clausal nominalization. This is because the v (or n) in the nominalization has the same case-licensing featural composition as transitive v in an ergative language: 1) the external argument in the specifier is assigned inherent (typically genitive) case; and 2) there is no structural licensing capability for an object. After reanalysis, the external argument continues to receive inherent case, and the object values nominative case with T, resulting in an ergative pattern in transitive clauses. Other proposed sources are also typically intransitive constructions lacking accusative objects and in which the external argument is assigned inherent case or is packaged as a PP, for example possessive constructions and passives

Keywords: alignment change, (in)transitivity, A’-extraction restriction, nominalization, inherent case, passive-to-ergative, possessive construction

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.