Linguistik-Klassifikation: Grammatikforschung / Grammar research
From ergativus absolutus to topic marking in Kiranti : a typological perspective
- In many languages, clauses can be subordinated by means of case markers. For Bodic languages, a branch of Sino-Tibetan, Genetti (1986) has shown that the meaning of case markers on clauses is in most instances a natural extension of their function on nouns. A dative, for example, which marks a referential goal with a noun, signals a situational goal, i.e., a purpose, when used on a clause. Among the case markers recruited for subordination, we not only get relatively concrete cases like datives, comitatives and various types of locatives, but also core argument relators such as ergatives and accusatives. In this paper, I focus on ergative markers in one subgroup of Bodic, viz. in Kiranti languages spoken in Eastern Nepal, especially in Belhare.