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The Rise and Fall of Ergativity in AramaicCycles of Alignment Change$
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Eleanor Coghill

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723806

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723806.001.0001

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Alignment in Eastern Neo-Aramaic dialects

Alignment in Eastern Neo-Aramaic dialects

(p.55) 4 Alignment in Eastern Neo-Aramaic dialects
The Rise and Fall of Ergativity in Aramaic

Eleanor Coghill

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 describes in detail the various alignment patterns attested in Eastern Neo-Aramaic dialects. Firstly the dialects with only accusative alignment are presented. These show inversion of the subject/object indexes between tenses which is a relic of an earlier ergative stage. Then the Jewish South-Eastern Trans-Zab dialects are described. These constitute the NENA dialects which still retain some degree of ergative alignment in the past perfective, but the picture is complicated by the existence of some intransitive verbs which behave like transitives (Split‑S alignment) and by differential object marking. Next it is considered whether there is evidence for syntactic ergativity in NENA. Then some dialects are presented which have developed non-accusative alignment in the perfect. Next, the alignment patterns found in Ṭuroyo are described: these also show a degree of ergativity. Then the role of Split‑S/semantic alignment in the relevant dialects is discussed, as well as parallels in other languages.

Keywords:   alignment, Eastern Neo-Aramaic, ergativity, Split-S/semantic alignment, differential object marking, syntactic ergativity, North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic, Ṭuroyo, typology

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