The restoration of the ergative case marking of ‘A’ in perfective clauses in New Indo-Aryan

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The development of the ergative construction in the New Indo-Aryan period is still not totally clear. In particular we don’t know the process of grammaticalization of the new analytical ergative marker, the postposition ne, found, among others, in Hindī and Pañjābī. This study tries to demonstrate that if it is true that the “macro-history” of this form suggests that the discriminatory function of case marking is clearly important in the beginning of its process of diffusion and stabilization, it is also true that there is no single interpretation as regards its high initial variability. In fact, starting from data taken from prose texts written in the old Hindī literary variety known as Braj-bhāsā, the full set of conditions on case alternations for A in the perfective aspect is really complex.


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