By Carol Hegarty
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Extra resources for Capitalization and Punctuation (English in Context)
Basque case marking Basque has three nominal cases which can agree with the verb: the ergative, dative, and absolutive. lot eman d-i-e. ’ Examples with the NP gizona (‘the man’) inflected with the ergative, dative and absolutive case are shown in Table 1: Three of these morphemes are homophonous, ending in -k: absolutive plural, ergative singular and ergative plural. In Basque, absolutive singular case is zero-marked, as is generally found in ergative languages (Bittner & Hale 1996; Bobaljik & Branigan 2006; Dixon 1994).
2sg ‘You like sweets’ e. 1pl ‘We have bought a lot-ABS of books’ f. ] g. 3pl ‘They have given you the wine’ Because dative indirect object agreement in Basque is an infix (as shown in 13g), we would expect it to be more difficult for children to acquire than dative experiencer agreement or ergative agreement, which are suffixes (13d and 13e) (Slobin 1973; Pye et. al. 2007). Jennifer Austin Morphological complexity Brown (1973) argued that the greatest predictors of the order of production of different functors were their semantic and grammatical complexity, rather than frequency of occurrence in the input.
The most encouraging sign of recovery is the fact that the aging of the population of Basque speakers was reversed (Aranguren 1997). This recovery has been accompanied by important changes in the demographic characteristics of Basque speakers since the turn of the twentieth century. First, while the raw number of Basque speakers has increased slightly, they comprise a much smaller percentage of the population, due to a massive influx of nonBasque speakers. In addition, all speakers of Basque, except for the very young and a few elderly speakers, are bilingual in either French or Spanish.