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      Ergative is not inherent: Evidence from *ABA in suppletion and syncretism

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      Glossa: a journal of general linguistics

      Ubiquity Press

      *ABA, syncretism, suppletion, ergativity, dependent case, Impoverishment

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          Abstract

          I show that case syncretism obeys the same *ABA restriction previously observed in case-sensitive suppletion: no Vocabulary-Insertion rule can apply to both an inherent case and an unmarked core case (nominative/absolutive) without also applying to another core case (accusative/ergative). The case hierarchy that these effects motivate is one where the ergative is consistently put in the same box as the accusative, separately from all inherent cases. This offers a new kind of argument in favor of dependent-case theories, whereby accusative and ergative are both structurally assigned to nominals that stand in an asymmetric c-command relation to another as-yet-caseless nominal nearby.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Morphological and Abstract Case

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            Lexical Case, Inherent Case, and Argument Structure

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              The structural determination of case and agreement

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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
                Contributors
                Journal
                2397-1835
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                2397-1835
                01 July 2019
                2019
                : 4
                : 1
                10.5334/gjgl.816
                Copyright: © 2019 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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