Abstract and Keywords
In a split ergative case pattern, not all subjects that could be marked with ergative case are. A language with a split ergative case pattern is called a split ergative language, but linguists disagree as to what other properties qualify a language as split ergative: an ergative case pattern in combination with a nominative-accusative agreement pattern, or an ergative case and agreement pattern in a language where no syntactic rules make reference to ergative case, or a language with two classes of verbs, only one of which takes an ergative subject. This chapter illustrates the well-known types of ergative splits involving person and aspect, and a range of less well-known types involving stage versus individual level predicates, proximate versus obviate subjects, and different social contexts. Most ergative splits appear to be present in syntax, with the clear exception of person splits which are argued to be purely morphological.
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