A question about ergative markers

Tom Payne tpayne at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Fri Oct 16 17:07:09 UTC 1998

Austronesian languages that have prenominal particles that many analyze as
ergative case markers have two forms, one for common nouns and another for
proper names. This is a distinction for all the cases, not just ergative.

You probably aren't concerned with languages like the Inuit languages that
have a whole paradigm of ergative markers depending on number of the
ergative NP (singular, dual, plural), and person/number of the possessor.

Tom Payne

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Discussion List for The Association for Linguistic Typology
> [mailto:LINGTYP at LINGUIST.LDC.UPENN.EDU]On Behalf Of William McGregor
> Sent: Friday, October 16, 1998 4:50 AM
> Subject: A question about ergative markers
> Dear typologists,
> I am wondering if anyone knows of any language with more than one ergative
> marker?
> Obviously I'm not thinking of more than one allomorph, but where there are
> two morphemes both marking ergative, but with some nuance. For instance,
> Warrwa has -na @ -ni and -ma. It seems that the first is an ordinary
> ergative marker, while the second is a focal ergative marker, marking
> unexpected agents.
> If anyone is aware of anything like this in any other languages I'd
> appreciate hearing about it.
> Thanks,
> Bill McGregor

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