[Lingtyp] Ergatives from datives?

David Gil gil at eva.mpg.de
Sun Jan 18 05:36:31 UTC 2015


In some varieties of colloquial Malay/Indonesian, the form /sama/ 
provides an example of what you're looking for.  Its basic meaning is 
"same" / "together"  (it is probably a loan from an Indo-Aryan language 
and hence cognate with English /same/.)  But in some varieties, eg. Riau 
Indonesian, its use generalizes to, among others, datives (e.g. the goal 
of 'give'), and (optional) marker of the A ("transitive subject") role, 
which fits the definition of an ergative (though it's usually not 
referred to as such).  You can find more details on this in:

Gil, David (2004) "Riau Indonesian /sama/, Explorations in 
Macrofunctionality", in M. Haspelmath ed., /Coordinating Constructions/, 
Typological Studies in Language 58, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 371-424.



On 18/01/2015 03:19, ilja.serzants at uni-konstanz.de wrote:
> Dear colleagues,
> I am very much interested  in instances of an ergative case which 
> historically developed from a dative or a dative-like expression that 
> is (or was) elsewhere used to encode such role clusters as 
> recipients/experiencers/beneficiaries/external possessors.
> I'd be grateful for any information on languages that have an 
> ergative-dative homonymy as well as for any case study on this matter.
> I am already aware of the ergative perfect in Aramaic/work by Coghill, 
> various cxns in Cariban lgs./work by Gildea, partial homonymy in 
> Basque, Indo-Aryan/work by Butt.
> Many thanks in advance!
> Ilja

David Gil

Department of Linguistics
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany

Telephone: 49-341-3550321 Fax: 49-341-3550333
Email: gil at eva.mpg.de
Webpage:  http://www.eva.mpg.de/~gil/

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