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date: 19 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Ergativity is found in dialects of Neo-Aramaic that are spoken in regions where there has been extensive contact with Iranian languages, especially Kurdish, over many generations. All such Neo-Aramaic dialects are split ergative, with ergativity found only in verbs with the perfective stem or resultative participles, and the marking of ergativity is by cross-referencing on the verb. The constructions include a type that conforms to split-S morphological ergativity and an assortment of hybrid variations in which there are differing degrees of levelling with the nominative—accusative morphosyntax of imperfective stem verbal forms. These hybrid systems exhibit the alignment of argument cross-referencing but not the morphological markedness of cases characteristic of nominative—accusative systems, morphological markedness of cases based on transitive properties of dynamicity and punctuality rather than argument structure and various degrees of reduction of the distribution of the unmarked absolutive marking of the object in transitive clauses.

Keywords: Neo-Aramaic, Split-S ergativity, extended ergative, dynamic stative ergative, hybrid ergative accusative

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