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Ergativity: Towards a Theory of Grammatical Relations by Frans Plank

By Frans Plank

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Extra info for Ergativity: Towards a Theory of Grammatical Relations

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41 On affinities between the perfective aspect, with a relatively salient patient, and the derived passive voice see Comrie, 1977 [17], Bechert, 1978 [9]. 42 Markedness reversal (Plank, 1977 [90]) might be the appropriate theoretical concept to account for this. Less abstract motivations for such reinterpretations are discussed by Trask (this volume). 43 Arguments about the origins of ergative constructions often rely on evidence derived from the morphological identity of the ergative case marker (cf.

An earlier salience- 34 F. Plank based account may be found in Regamey, 1954 [215] :373 : “Lorsque nous envisageons une action transitive par rapport au patient, nous constatons TefFet de cette action, ce qui est accompli. Cette action s’est déjà détachée de l’agent, elle a été transférée sur le patient. Par contre, l’action imperfective, qui n’a pas encore été achevée, qui est en train d’être réalisée, relève de l’agent plutôt que du patient”. 39 Cf. 2 on an allegedly ergative patterning o i up\ г.

17 This is another fairly traditional insight (cf. Thomson, 1909; Royen, 1929 [96] :590: “Fine Person ist vor allem agens, ein Impersonale vor allem patiens’’) that has been rediscovered only recently. 18 This fits in well with Finck’s (1907 [27] :239) assertion that different constructions of verbs of activity and of experience are an issue entirely independent of the passivism (ergativity) in a language. 1^ Although there might be an analogous tendency in the other predominantly accusative systems mentioned above (cf.

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