Absolutive case

related topics
{language, word, form}
{woman, child, man}

The absolutive case (abbreviated abs) is the unmarked grammatical case of a core argument of a verb (generally other than the nominative) which is used as the citation form of a noun.

Contents

In ergative languages

In ergative-absolutive languages, the absolutive is the case used to mark both the subject of an intransitive verb and the object of a transitive verb, in addition to being used for the citation form of a noun. It contrasts with the marked ergative case, which marks the subject of a transitive verb.

For example, in Basque the noun mutil ("boy") takes the bare singular article -a both as subject of the intransitive clause mutila etorri da ("the boy came") and as object of the transitive clause Irakasleak mutila ikusi du ("the teacher has seen the boy"), in which the subject bears the ergative ending -a-k.

In marked-nominative languages

In nominative-absolutive languages, also called marked-nominative languages, the nominative has a case inflection, while the accusative and citation form do not. The unmarked accusative/citation form may be called absolutive to clarify that there citation form is used for the accusative case role rather than for the nominative, which it is in most nominative-accusative languages.

In tripartite languages

In tripartite languages, both the agent and object of a transitive clause have case forms, ergative and accusative, whereas the agent of an intransitive clause is the unmarked citation form. This is occasionally called the intransitive case, but absolutive is also used and is perhaps more accurate, since it is not limited to core agents of intransitive verbs.

In accusative languages

In nominative-accusative languages, both core cases may be marked, but not infrequently only the accusative is. In such situations the term 'absolutive' would aptly describe the nominative, but the term is seldom used that way.

See also


Full article ▸

related documents
Prolative case
Whole note
Kordofanian languages
Possessive case
Adessive case
List of Latin phrases
Exponent (linguistics)
Sorbian languages
Bardic name
Frith
T
Yinglish
CIA cryptonym
Illative case
Kashubian language
Lakh
Articulatory phonetics
Giga-
North American English
Homograph
Iota
Layamon
Group (periodic table)
Creaky voice
Gur languages
Hall
Grapheme
List of Latin place names in Continental Europe
Dacians
Occidental language