Ergativity in Indo-Aryan
Pritty Patel-Grosz
December 2020

This article provides an introduction to case and agreement patterns that are present in Old, Middle and New Indo-Aryan languages, building on the rationale of Butt and Deo (2017) that ergative case marking and ergative (object) agreement in Indo-Aryan is historically tied to having originated from the past perfective morphological marker ta, and can only be fully understood from a perspective that factors in this development. Particular attention is given to the waxing and waning of ergative properties in Late Middle Indo Aryan and New Indo Aryan, which gives rise to recurring dissociation of case and agreement; specifically, object agreement in the absence of ergative case marking is attested in Kutchi Gujarati and Marwari, while ergative case marking without object agreement is present in Nepali. With regards to case, this article reviews recent insights on how 'ergative/accusative' may be regularly semantically/pragmatically conditioned in Indo-Aryan (so-called Differential Case Marking). Pertaining to agreement, the article investigates a central theoretical question: whether 'ergative' object agreement should be analysed uniformly with subject agreement, or alternatively, as a type of participle agreement – drawing on synchronic parallels between Indo-Aryan and Romance.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005616
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: to appear in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics
keywords: ergativity in indo-aryan, historical ergative, differential case marking, ergative agreement, indo-aryan and romance participle agreement, morphology, syntax
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