Linguistik-Klassifikation: Sprachtypologie / Language typology
Ergativity in Samoan
- Most typological and language specific studies on so- called ergative languages are concerned with case marking patterns, particularly split ergativity, with the organization of syntactic relations as defined by syntactic operations such as coreferential deletion across coordinate conjunctions, Equi-NP-deletion and relativization , and with the notion of subject, but usually neglect the notion of valency, though the inherent relational properties of the verb , i. e. valency, play a fundamental role in the syntactic organization of sentences in ergative as well as in other languages . The following investigation of ergativity in Samoan aims to integrate the notion of valency into the description of semantic and syntactic relations and to outline the characteristic features of Samoan verbal clauses as far as they seem to be relevant to recent and still ongoing discussions on linguistic typology and syntactic theory. The main points of the definition of valency […] are: Valency is the property of the verb which determines the obligatory and optional number of its participants, their morphosyntactic form, their semantic class membership (e.g. ± animate, ± human) , and their semantic role (e.g. agent , patient , recipient). All semantic properties and morphosyntactic properties of participants not inherently given by the verb and therefore not predictable from the verb, are not a matter of valency. Valency is not a homogenous property of the verb, but consists of several exponents which show varying degress of relevance in different languages or different verb classes within a single language.