When I was reading papers, I found these expressions. So what is an unaccusative adjective and an ergative adjective? And what is their relationship with the distinction between raising and non-raising adjectives? I was quite confused.

  • 1
    You're not the only one. Ergativity is a prominent feature of many languages, but English is not one of them. Terms like ergative, anti-passive, unaccusative, etc used about I-E languages are metaphoric uses and don't really mean the same thing. They just denote certain groups of predicates or constructions. Using those terms is essentially showing loyalty to the theory and its defenders; basically, gang colors.
    – jlawler
    Jul 7 at 23:57
  • Thank you for your comments. It seems that raising adjectives constitute a subclass of unaccusative/ ergative predicates since some of them lack external argument.
    – Rongrong
    Jul 8 at 6:28
  • Could you provide some references where you learn these? I am curious about it too.
    – Yili Xia
    Aug 10 at 6:15


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