Absolutive case


Absolutive case

In ergative-absolutive languages, the absolutive (abbreviated ABS) is the grammatical case used to mark both the subject of an intransitive verb and the object of a transitive verb. It contrasts with the ergative case, which marks the subject of transitive verbs.

For example, in Basque the noun "mutil" ("boy") takes the absolutive singular ending "-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 "-ak".

In the languages of this kind, the ergative case is typically marked (most salient), while the absolutive case is unmarked. For this reason, words in absolutive case are usually used as the lemma to represent a lexeme.

See also

* Morphosyntactic alignment


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