LINGUIST List 13.1634

Sun Jun 9 2002

Qs: Ergative/Absolutive Langs, Eng Pronounciation

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  1. Andrew Carnie, Frequency of Non-Splitting Ergative/Absolutive Languages?
  2. Humphrey, Received pronounciation

Message 1: Frequency of Non-Splitting Ergative/Absolutive Languages?

Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2002 12:36:56 -0700 (MST)
From: Andrew Carnie <carnieU.Arizona.EDU>
Subject: Frequency of Non-Splitting Ergative/Absolutive Languages?

Friends and Colleagues,

I'm hoping to get some help from those of you who are more familiar
with the cross-linguistic typological literature than I. I've done
some literature searches, and scowered Dixon 94, but failed to come up
with the relevant sources that can give me good answer to my query.

In reading about Ergative/Absolutive languages, I don't believe I've
ever seen one that does not have a split (based on person, animacy,
specificity, aspect, etc.) somewhere in it's grammar, where at least a
partly Nominative/Accusative pattern emerges. I'm sure I've also heard
it asserted by someone (can't remember where!) that there is no such
thing as a "purely" Erg/Abs language.

So two questions: (1) Is this true? Are there really any good
candidates for a *purely* Erg/Abs language with no splits and (2) can
anyone point me to a source that I can cite that claims this, or
better yet, proves it?

Andrew Carnie, Ph.D. 	
Asst. Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics
Douglass 200E, University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721
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Message 2: Received pronounciation

Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 09:27:35 +1000
From: Humphrey <>
Subject: Received pronounciation

The consensus appears to be that the term "received pronounciation"
was first used by Alexander Ellis in 1869 in his book "On early
English pronunciation". However, somewhere I seem to remember that it
was simply what some dictionary maker "received" from his informants.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to ascertain that either Samuel
Johnson or James Murray (who did the Oxford Dictionary) actually said
this, so perhaps I am just mixed up. Is there anyone who could shed
some light on this?

Humphrey van Polanen Petel
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