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 posits a parameter hierarchy to capture micro-parametric variation in ergative (or rather non-accusative) alignment, building on the proposal that ergative is an inherent case, assigned by little vs. Initial parameters determine the distribution of this inherent case across instances of little v in a given language, sensitive to various thematic features, and subsequent dependent parameters determine further properties of ergative-assigning vs such as the presence of a movement trigger and the suppression of structural Case features. This gives rise to a number of distinct ergative types depending on the distribution of ergative case, the presence/absence of syntactic ergativity, and the source of absolutive case in transitive contexts. The resultant parameter hierarchy serves to restrict the space of variation, modeling a number of proposed implicational universals in this domain, and provides a potential solution to the subset problem in acquisition by encoding a notion of relative markedness.

Keywords: ergativity, micro-parametric, parameter, micro-parameter, parameter hierarchy, parametric variation, case, agreement, EPP, Alignment, subset problem

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.