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