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Colorado Research in Linguistics

Document Type

Working Paper

Abstract

Attempts to place the language isolate Basque within some typological framework have frequently ended in controversy and terminological confusion. The currently accepted classification of Basque, based on its transparent case-marking system, is that it is an ergative-absolutive language (Dixon 1979, Saltarelli 1988). How well this morphologically-grounded designation holds up at the syntactic and semantic levels of Basque is the larger focus of this paper. The detailed focus is on the behavior of Basque intransitive verbs, and how this behavior synchronizes with the over-all ergative morphology.

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