Cases and thematic roles: ergative, accusative and active
This study examines the mapping of thematic roles, such as agent and patient, onto syntactic cases, such as nominative or ergative, or onto structural relations in a cross-linguistic survey that is supplemented with German data. It is shown that cases and structural relations code different aspects of thematic structure and that cases cannot be derived from structural relations in universal grammar. The phenomena that characterize ergative and active languages are shown to be restricted to case mapping.
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absolutive argument accusative languages adpositional agreement markers agreement rule allomorphism analysis anaphor animacy antipassive assignment asymmetries Avar basic order basic thematic relations c-command captured chapter clitics cross-linguistic dative demotion determined discussed Dixon Dowty Dowty's Dyirbal entailments ergative and accusative ergative constructions ergative languages Ergative Parameter examples explain fact formulated function German grammar grammatical relations guages Guarani Hindi intransitive verbs lexemes lexical markedness marking Mayan languages ment mentioned morphological morphosyntactic Nichols nominative argument notion noun object participant passive pattern phrase predicate agreement preference pronouns Proto Proto-Patient properties Proto-Recipient Proto-Role prototypical ranking relevant restricted semantic Semantic Dependencies semantic principle sentence sentience split intransitivity structural domain structural relations structurally primary argument syntactic argument syntactic pivot thematic dependency Thematic Hierarchy thematic information thematic roles thematic structure tion topic transitive clauses trigger universal unmarked verb agreement verb arguments verb lexemes verbs selecting word order