What Is Nominal-accusative language

nominative-accusative language [ 1 ] (or simply accusative ) [ 2 ] is one in which the subject of an intransitive verb (role S) and the subject of a transitive verb (role A) receive a different treatment from the direct object of the transitive verb ( paper O). The treatment may consist of placing a special affix on it, in grammatical order or another way of distinguishing the function of each verbal argument . [ 3 ] That is, a nominative language treats S and A the same and O differently. In nominative-accusative languages ​​with grammatical caseS and A are usually marked with the nominative case and O with the accusative case , hence the name. If there is no case mark, the language uses word order (as in English , the language in which the subject appears before the verb and the object after). [ 2 ]

All European languages, except Basque , are nominative-accusative. These types of languages ​​contrast with those of an ergative-absolute type . In the North Australian Dyirbal language which is ergative-absolutive the S of the intransitive phrases and the O of the transitive phrases are treated in the same way, [ 1 ] use the absolute case for the S of the intransitive phrases and the ergative case with the S of transitive phrases. [ 1 ] Hence these languages ​​are called absolutive-ergatives.


The nominative-accusative alignment is very clearly appreciated in languages ​​with cases such as Latin or many other ancient Indo-European languages . [ 4 ] [ 5 ] In these languages ​​it is seen that the subject of the transitive verbs (1b) receives the same case mark as the subject of the intransitive verbs (1a) (this case is usually called nominative), while the object of the transitive verbs gets a different (accusative) mark: [ 6 ]


(1a) homo pervenit = ‘the man has arrived’

(1b) homo puerum vidit = ‘the man saw the child’

(1c) puer hominem vidit = ‘the child saw the man’

This contrasts with an ergative-absolutive language like Basque: [ 7 ]


(2a) gizona etorri da = ‘the man has arrived’

(2b) gizonak mutilates ikusi du = ‘the man saw the child’

(2c) mutilak gizona ikusi du = ‘the child saw the man’

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