Nominative-accusative and ergative are universal alignment forms came across throughout languages. within the former variety, the topic of an intransitive verb and the topic of a transitive verb are expressed an analogous approach, and otherwise from the item of a transitive. In ergative languages, the topic of an intransitive and the thing of a transitive look within the comparable shape, the absolutive, and the transitive topic has a different, ergative, shape. Ergative languages usually stick to very diverse styles, therefore evading a uniform description and research. an easy reason behind that has to do with the concept that ergative languages, a lot as their nominative-accusative opposite numbers, don't shape a uniform classification. during this ebook, Maria Polinsky argues that ergative languages instantiate major forms, the single the place the ergative topic is a prepositional word (PP-ergatives) and the single with a noun-phrase ergative. every one variety is internally constant and is characterised by way of a suite of well-defined properties.
The e-book starts off with an research of syntactic ergativity, which as Polinsky argues, is a manifestation of the PP-ergative style. Polinsky discusses diagnostic homes that outline PPs typically after which is going to teach subset of ergative expressions healthy the profile of PPs. a number of substitute analyses were proposed to account for syntactic ergativity; the ebook offers and descriptions those analyses and gives extra concerns in aid of the PP-ergativity procedure. The publication then discusses the second one style, DP-ergative languages, and lines the diachronic connection among the 2 types.
The ebook comprises chapters illustrating paradigm PP-ergative and DP-ergative languages: Tongan and Tsez. the knowledge utilized in those descriptions come from Polinsky's unique fieldwork accordingly featuring new empirical proof from either languages.