Double absolutives?

Ashild Naess A.Naess at LET.KUN.NL
Mon Mar 11 15:49:00 UTC 2002

Dear typologists,

there are languages which show so-called double-nominative marking with 
certain verbs, that is, they mark both arguments of a bivalent verb with 
the nominative case, such as in the following examples from Korean and 
Japanese (data from Shibatani 1982):

(1) Korean: Nae-ka ai-ka 	kwiyetta
	        I-NOM child-NOM	like
		"I  like the child"

(2) Japanese: Taroo ga Hanako ga sukida
		T.   NOM  H.    NOM like
		"Taro likes Hanako"

There also appears to be some split-intransitive languages where some verbs 
can take agentive or patientive marking on both arguments (see e.g. Mithun 

My question is, does anyone know of any ergative languages where there are 
verbs which take double absolutive marking - that is, where both arguments 
of a bivalent verb is in the absolutive case? If so, with which verbs does 
it occur? Seeing that this type of double marking crops up mainly with 
"like" and other experiencer verbs in other languages, one might expect to 
find double absolutive marking on verbs of this type in some ergative 
languages. Do you know if this actually happens anywhere? I'll summarise 
any interesting results for the list.


Åshild Næss

University of Nijmegen
Erasmusplein 1
6525 GG Nijmegen

+31 24 3616028

a.naess at 

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