" On the Rise of Ergative Alignment in Indo-Aryan Languages"
There are several assumptions regarding the origins of the ergative construction in New Indo-Aryan languages: (i) passive-to-ergative reanalysis, (ii) the ergative hypothesis, i.e. that the passive construction of Old Indo-Aryan was already ergative, and a compromise stance that neither (i) nor (ii) are fully adequate. Most recently attention has been paid to various pathways in which typological changes operate over different kinds of nominal constituents (nouns versus pronouns) in a 'contingency view of alignment' (Dixon 1994, Haig 2008). I will argue that the Late Middle Indo-Aryan texts offer us a unique opportunity for our analysis of the ergative reorganization of an earlier nominative-accusative system of Sanskrit and early Prakrits in the framework of Construction Grammar exploiting the notions of markedness shift, morphological economy and long-term morphosyntactic change.
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