Optional ergative marking in Tujia

Lu, Man, van de Weijer, Jeroen, Sinha, Chris and Liu, Zhengguang (2019) Optional ergative marking in Tujia. Lingua, 223. pp. 46-66. ISSN 0024-3841

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This article investigates optional ergative marking in Tujia, an endangered Tibeto-Burman language spoken in south-central China. It is shown that the Agent in Tujia is optionally marked, and that the use of the optional ergative marker ko 35 is multifunctional. It is used to disambiguate the semantic role of Agent, to emphasize agency, and to focalize an Actor in a discourse context. Several factors, including word order, telicity, perfectivity, verbal semantics, information structure and discourse-pragmatics, play a role in determining the use or non-use of the ergative marker. Secondly, the historical source of the optional ergative marker is explored. It is hypothesized that the morpheme lie 21 was originally an instrumental marker whose meaning became extended to encompass the marking of ergativity. Later, this morpheme lost its ergative meaning, after the third person singular pronoun ko 35 acquired the role of optional ergative marker, as a result of language contact with Chinese. The analysis may enhance the understanding of the variety of uses and the sources of ergative case marking in Tibeto-Burman languages in general.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: We are sincerely grateful to the editors of this journal and the two anonymous reviewers for their careful and insightful comments, which led to significant improvements of the paper. However, all remaining errors are our own. Our great thanks also goes to our informants: Liu, Yingguag; Peng, Chune; Xiang, ping; Peng, Chunxiu; Xiang, Degui, and those who have helped us with the data in the village of Baoge, Pojiao, and Dianfang. We also gratefully acknowledge funding from grants to the project “On the Documentation of Minority Languages”, by Hunan University and by Hunan Province Social Science Funds (grant number 17YBA093 ). Publisher Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
Uncontrolled Keywords: ergativity,grammaticalization,indexical elements,optionality,tujia,language and linguistics,linguistics and language ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1203
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2023 01:21
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2023 01:21
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/93953
DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2019.02.011

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