Cross-linguistic Variation in Differential Subject Marking
The phenomenon known as Differential Subject Marking (DSM) may take many forms. First of all, languages differ in which conditions govern DSM. Some languages differentiate their subjects on the basis of the form, such as being a pronoun or not, others on the basis of semantic features such as being a real agent (volitional, in control) or not, and still others distinguish their subjects on the basis of clausal features such as tense/aspect/mood or the main/dependent clause distinction. Secondly, DSM comes in different formal guises: case marking, agreement, inverse systems, voice alternations.
Although relatively much is known about the cross-linguistic variation we find in the marking of subjects (see Dixon 1994; Aikhenvald, Dixon, and Onishi 2001 for an overview), relatively little attempt has been made to formalize the facts (see Aissen 1999). The present volume is an attempt to unify formal approaches to language with the typological enterprise. In the spirit of this project both specific case studies of DSM and theoretical approaches to the data are presented. In this introductory chapter, we will demonstrate how the respective chapters fit this general enterprise.
KeywordsNoun Phrase Grammatical Function Faithfulness Constraint Clause Type Intransitive Verb
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Aikhenvald, A.Y., R.M.W. Dixon and M. Onishi (eds.) (2001). Non-canonical Marking of Subjects and Objects. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
- Comrie, B. (1989). Language Universals and Linguistic Typology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Cooreman, A. (1994). A functional typology of antipassives. Voice: Form and Function. Ed. by B. Fox and P.J. Hopper. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 49-88.Google Scholar
- Dixon, R.M.W. (1994). Ergativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Fortescue, M., 1984. West Greenlandic. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
- de Hoop, H. (1999). Optimal case assignment. Linguistics in the Netherlands 1999. Ed. by R. van Bezooijen and R. Kager. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 97-109.Google Scholar
- Kittilä, S. (2002). Transitivity: Towards a Comprehensive Typology. Turku/Åbo, Åbo Akademis Trykeri.Google Scholar
- Legendre, G., W. Raymond, and P. Smolensky (1993). An Optimality-Theoretic typology of case and grammatical voice systems. Proceedings of the 19th Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. Berkeley.Google Scholar
- Malchukov, A.L. (2006). Transitivity parameters and transitivity alternations: constraining co-variation. Case, Valency and Transitivity: a Cross-linguistic Perspective. Ed. by L. Kulikov, A. L. Malchukov and P. de Swart. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 330-357.Google Scholar
- Næss, Å. (2006). Case semantics and the agent-patient opposition. Case, Valency and Transitivity: a Cross-linguistic Perspective. Ed. by L. Kulikov, A. L. Malchukov and P. de Swart. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 309-327.Google Scholar
- Sells, P. (2001). Form and function in the typology of grammatical voice systems. Optimality-theoretic Syntax. Ed. by G. Legendre, J. Grimshaw, and S. Vikner. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press, 355-391.Google Scholar
- de Swart, P. (2003). The Case Mirror. MA-thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen.Google Scholar
- de Swart, P. (2005). Noun phrase resolution: the correlation between case and ambiguity. Competition and Variation in Natural Languages: the Case for Case. Ed. by M. Amberber and H. de Hoop. Oxford: Elsevier, 205-222.Google Scholar
- Woolford, E. (2001). Case patterns. Optimality-theoretic Syntax. Ed. by G. Legendre, S. Vikner, and J. Grimshaw. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press, 509-543.Google Scholar