Looking for ergativity in Indo-Aryan

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Indo-Aryan languages are often described as ergative or split-ergative. The article investigates the extent of this claim, by looking at a number of constructions in 22 New Indo-Aryan languages. It is shown that ergative constructions are in general the minority, and that other mechanisms of alignment, such as transitivity-indicating agreement patterns, are as valuable to be studied as strictly ergative patterns. Our conclusion also applies to historical studies on the evolution of the Indo-Aryan alignment system, which sometimes seem to focus too much on specific ergative patterns, thus overlooking other motivations of alignment.


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