ergative
adjective Etymology: Greek ergatēs worker, from ergon work Date: 1939 of, relating to, or being a language (as Inuit or Georgian) in which the objects of transitive verbs and subjects of intransitive verbs are typically marked by the same linguistic forms; also being an inflectional morpheme that typically marks the subject of a transitive verb in an ergative language

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • ergative — is a term for a type of verb of action or movement in which the object of the verb can become the subject of the same verb used intransitively (without an object), as in They closed the door / The door closed. There are many verbs of this type,… …   Modern English usage

  • ergative — 1943, grammatical case used for the subjects of transitive verbs (in Eskimo, Basque, Caucasian languages), from Gk. ergatos workman, from ergos work (see URGE (Cf. urge) (v.)) + IVE (Cf. ive) …   Etymology dictionary

  • ergative — [ʉr′gə tiv] Gram. adj. 1. designating, of, or in the case that is taken by the subject of a transitive verb in some languages, as Basque or Georgian, in which the direct object of a transitive verb and the subject of the related intransitive… …   English World dictionary

  • ergative — UK [ˈɜː(r)ɡətɪv] / US [ˈɜrɡətɪv] adjective linguistics an ergative verb can have its object as its subject without changing its meaning. For example, open is an ergative verb because you can say I opened the door or the door opened . Derived word …   English dictionary

  • Ergative — The term ergative is used in grammar in three different meanings:* Ergative case, * Ergative absolutive language * Ergative verb …   Wikipedia

  • ergative — er•ga•tive [[t]ˈɜr gə tɪv[/t]] adj. 1) gram. of or designating a verb in which the subject of the intransitive construction is also the object of the transitive construction: The boat capsized. They capsized the boat[/ex] 2) gram. a) of or… …   From formal English to slang

  • ergative — ergativity, n. /err geuh tiv/, adj. 1. Gram. a. (in certain languages, as Basque, Eskimo, and some Caucasian languages) noting a case that indicates the subject of a transitive verb and is distinct from the case indicating the subject of an… …   Universalium

  • ergative — 1. adjective /ˈɜːɡətɪv,ˈɝɡətɪv/ Used of various situations where the subject of transitive constructions have different grammatical cases or thematic relations to those of intransitive constructions. The case systems of ergative languages are… …   Wiktionary

  • ergative — er|ga|tive [ ɜrgətıv ] adjective LINGUISTICS an ergative verb can have its object as its subject without changing its meaning. For example, open is an ergative verb because you can say I opened the door or the door opened. ╾ er|ga|tive noun count …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • ergative — [[t]ɜ͟ː(r)gətɪv[/t]] ADJ An ergative verb is a verb that can be both transitive and intransitive, where the subject of the intransitive verb is the same as the object of the transitive verb. For example, open is an ergative verb because you can… …   English dictionary

  • ergative — /ˈɜgətɪv/ (say erguhtiv) adjective 1. Grammar causative. In a sentence like John moved the table, John is the agent or cause of the action, and the word John is the ergative subject. 2. Linguistics (of a language) having an ergative case. {Greek… …   Australian English dictionary

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