AW: ergative to accusative alignment

Felicity Meakins f.meakins at UQ.EDU.AU
Thu Jan 9 22:45:15 UTC 2014

Dear Raheleh,

One mechanism might be language contact. The Gurindji ergative marker became a nominative marker as a result of contact with Kriol in the formation of Gurindji Kriol which is a mixed language. This change had an intermediate stage whereby Gurindji Kriol was originally an optional ergative language and then became a (optional) marked nominative language (as the ergative marker extended to subjects of transitive clauses).

Meakins, Felicity. 2009. The case of the shifty ergative marker: A pragmatic shift in the ergative marker in one Australian mixed language. In Jóhanna Barddal & Shobhana Chelliah (eds.), The Role of Semantics and Pragmatics in the Development of Case. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 59-91.

---. to appear. From absolutely optional to only nominally ergative: The life cycle of the Gurindji Kriol ergative suffix. In Nino Amiridze, Peter Arkadiev & Francesco Gardani (eds.), Borrowed Morphology. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Meakins, Felicity & Carmel O'Shannessy. 2010. Ordering arguments about: Word order and discourse motivations in the development and use of the ergative marker in two Australian mixed languages. Lingua 120.7: 1693–713.

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