Ergativity, agreement and alignment shift in Western Indo-Aryan
Pritha Chandra, Roberta D'Alessandro
February 2024

This paper investigates alignment shift, specifically an ongoing shift from ergative alignment to accusative alignment, with an empirical focus on some Western Indo-Aryan (WIA) varieties. Ergativity in WIA is a fragmented phenomenon. In this study, we identify some language areas on the map that exemplify different stages of language change, and consider them for a comprehensive study of ergativity attrition, and possible alignment shift. We show that there is a strong correlation between the emergence of agreement with a differentiallymarked (DOM) object and alignment attrition; the DOM-triggered agreement on v is identified as the starting point of ergative attrition, culminating in an accusative-alignment. Since DOM interacts syntactically with alignment, it is in fact a syntactic process, belonging to narrow syntax, and not a post-syntactic or lexical marking of some semantic features. 2nd draft, comments and feedback very welcome!
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006988
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted
keywords: ergativity, alignment shift, west indo-aryan, agreement, dom, syntax
previous versions: v2 [October 2023]
v1 [December 2022]
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