In his book, 'Ergativity', R. Dixon makes a prediction on page 95:

if there is a split between bound and free forms, the former will follow an accusative pattern, the latter - an ergative pattern.

The basis for the prediction is the Nominal Hierarchy wherein personal pronouns occupy the left-hand side of it which reflects the fact that they are more likely to follow accusativity when there is a split.

I have not found any data pertaining to the matter in question on WALS. So my question is:

Is there a language that has the kind of split opposite to what Dixon's prediction leads us to expect?

Thank you!

  • Shouldn't your first 'latter' should be 'former' Commented Jul 6 at 1:55
  • @GastonÜmlaut, yes, it shoud
    – Shpekard
    Commented Jul 9 at 12:19
  • What exactly does he mean by “a split between bound and free forms” here? Is he talking about standalone pronouns vs personal inflectional affixes? Commented Jul 9 at 13:42
  • @JanusBahsJacquet, Bound forms - personal affixes, free forms - nouns (pronouns are not necessarily included as there may be a split between nouns and pronouns). I googled a bit and found out a language called Guajajara. It has a split within verbal agreement (among other observable splits elsewhere).
    – Shpekard
    Commented Jul 9 at 20:54
  • Oh, that makes more sense – I read the entire question as being limited to only pronouns and couldn’t quite grasp the meaning. Commented Jul 9 at 21:09


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.