Ergativity as a natural manifestation of the v > EA base

Hiroyuki Tanaka


This study proposes an analysis of ergativity based on the hypothesis that, contrary to the standardly assumed structure, the Case assigner v asymmetrically c-commands the base position of all the arguments of the verb, including the external argument. Simply assuming that an EPP feature attracts the closest NP it c-commands, and that a Case feature assigns structural Case to the closest NP it c-commands, we aim at a theory in which ergativity as well as accusativity is a natural manifestation of this universal base, while their differences reflect the parametric differences of the formal features of v.


ergativity; vP structure; feature ordering; multiplicity of features

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