Ergativity in Non-finite Clauses in Kolyma Yukaghir
42 , 2016-01-20 , 北海道大学文学研究科
This paper investigates the ergative alignment pattern in non-finite clauses in
Kolyma Yukaghir. The main points of this paper are as follows:
1. The ergative pattern is mainly attested in texts collected by W. Jochelson at the
end of the 19th century and the very beginning of the 20th century. However,
contemporary Kolyma Yukaghir also exhibits a small number of similar
2. In Jochelson’s data, the ergative pattern is observed in both agreement and
core-argument marking of the action nominal and result nominal clauses. On the
other hand, finite clauses always show the accusative pattern. Therefore,
Kolyma Yukaghir once manifested split ergativity conditioned by clause-types.
3. However, Jochelson’s data also contain action nominal and result nominal
clauses that show the accusative pattern. This mixture of the ergative and
accusative patterns can be considered to reflect the transitional stage from the
ergative to accusative system.
4. It is also possible to assume that the action nominal and result nominal clauses
involved a split conditioned by NP-types: the first- and second-person pronouns always followed the accusative pattern, while other nominals followed the
5. In finite clauses in contemporary Kolyma Yukaghir, the first- or second-person
pronoun P takes the pronominal accusative -ul when A is in the first- or second
person, while it takes the (simple) accusative -gele/-kele when A is in the third
person. However, this distinction is not consistent in Jochelson’s data: the
former was almost always used in the action nominal and result nominal clauses.
This indicates that the replacement process of -ul with -gele/-kele has been in
progress along with the shift from the ergative to accusative system.