The development and loss of ergativity in Aramaic are tightly bound with the grammaticalization of new perfects. Chapter 8 summarizes how the renewal of the Eastern Aramaic verbal system and reanalysis of an experiencer argument (and secondarily affectees) as agent brought about a change in alignment. A gap in the system of perfects then motivated the extension of the ergative construction Qṭil li to some and then all intransitives, bringing about a return to full accusative alignment. The chapter summarizes the types of new perfects that arose once Qṭil li shifted to a general past perfective, and examines on a more theoretical level the role that new perfects can play in bringing about tense-conditioned ergativity. It shows that this can only be expected under certain conditions and presents the possible paths that could lead to tense-conditioned ergative alignment, offering models of alignment change that can be tested on other languages.
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