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Grammaticalization and Strategies in Resolving Subject Marking Paradoxes: The Case of Tsimshianic

  • Jason Brown
  • Tyler Peterson
Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 72)

This paper presents a case study of what we will call ergative/nominative paradoxes, which we claim are found in the Tsimshianic language family, but which are possibly found in other languages as well. Such paradoxes are said to arise when both nominative and ergative morphology is simultaneously indexed or related to the same subject. Although these languages manifest this subject marking paradox in different ways, we conjecture that the paradox itself is the result of an ergative system decaying into an accusative one, and that one strategy for languages to relieve the pressure of such a paradox is to develop new paradigms of differential subject marking.

Keywords

Semantic Role Proper Noun Common Noun Case Marker Accusative Case 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason Brown
    • 1
  • Tyler Peterson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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