ablative as ergative marker

Michael Noonan noonan at CSD.UWM.EDU
Thu Oct 22 01:03:40 UTC 1998

Ralf-Stefan Georg wrote:
> For what it's worth, I might add an additional example of
> ablative-as-ergative, since this metaphor doesn't seem to be too frequent
> (awaiting correction).
> Some of the Tamangic languages (Tibeto-Burman, Nepal) do employ a case
> which comprises the function of ergative and ablative; at least, Thakali
> does this (-se, -ce, according to dialect). Chantyal is reported to use the
> same marker in ERG function, but I don't have any information on its
> "ablativity",

Just a response to Stefan, for the record:  Chantyal [Tamangic: Bodic:
Tibeto-Burman] has an ergative marker -sA which doubles as an
instrumental. The ablative is usually -gAm-sA, which consists of -gAm,
which by itself can signal ablative function, and the ERG/INST -sA.  Case
clitics are commonly compounded in Chantyal.

Chantyal, by the way, is almost consistently ergative in transitive
clauses; there is no other ergative marker in the language.

Mickey Noonan

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