AskDefine | Define ergative

User Contributed Dictionary



From the , ergatēs, worker - deriving from ergon, meaning work.


  1. of a verb which is an ergative verb
  2. of a language in which the subject of a transitive verb has a different case to the subject of an intransitive verb
  3. of, or relating to the case of the subject of a transitive verb in such a language


  1. the ergative case
  2. an ergative verb or other expression

Extensive Definition

The term ergative is used in grammar in three different meanings:
ergative in Spanish: Caso ergativo
ergative in Japanese: 能格
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