Ergative case

The ergative case is the grammatical case that identifies the subject of a transitive verb in ergative-absolutive languages.

In such languages, the ergative case is typically marked (most salient), while the absolutive case is unmarked. New work in case theory has vigorously supported the idea that the ergative case identifies the agent (the intentful performer of an action) of a verb (Woolford 2004).

In Kalaallisut (Greenlandic) for example the ergative case is used to mark subjects of transitive verbs and possessors of nouns.

Other languages that use the ergative case are Georgian, Chechen, and other Caucasian languages, Mayan languages, Mixe-Zoque languages, Wagiman and other Australian Aboriginal languages as well as Basque and Burushaski.

ee also

* Antipassive voice
* Morphosyntactic alignment
* Ergative-absolutive language


* [ Woolford, Ellen.] [ "Lexical Case, Inherent Case, and Argument Structure"] . Feb 2005.
* Bomfoco, Marco. [ "What is Ergativity?."] 22 July 2006. Retrieved 2008-06-13.

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