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un- + ergative, from the fact that in an ergative-absolutive language, the only case which uniquely identifies a volitional argument is the ergative case, which marks the agent of a transitive verb.
unergative (not comparable)
- (linguistics, of a verb) Intransitive and having an agent as its subject.
unergative (plural unergatives)
- (linguistics) An unergative verb.
- 1998, Eloise Jelinek, Voice and Transitivity as Functional Projections in Yaqui, in Miriam Butt and Wilhelm Geuder, eds., "The Projection of Arguments"
- We have seen that Unergatives and Unaccusatives differ in 1) permitting the derivation of an Impersonal Passive, and 2) in licensing purpose clauses, since Unergatives have active subjects, and Unaccusatives do not.