Georgian stem formants and nominalization

Gallagher Flinn


The Georgian verb system is complex, and in many cases the function and meaning of certain morphemes is not entirely clear. One such morpheme, the stem formant, appears in both non-perfect verbs and nominal structures. Although they are usually associated with aspect in the verb, I propose that there are several advantages to treating stem formants as nominal heads bearing the feature [+collective]. If stem formants are nominalizers, then several facts about their distribution can be explained, including their historical origin, their presence in abstract and verbal nouns, and their absence from verbs which assign ergative case to their subjects. Doing so also makes it possible to bring Georgian split ergativity closer in line with other analyses of ergative splits in Basque (Laka, 2006) and Chol (Coon, 2013)


syntax, Georgian, nominalization, split ergativity, stem formant, thematic suffix

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