ergative

adjective
er·​ga·​tive | \ ˈər-gə-tiv How to pronounce ergative (audio) \

Definition of ergative

: of, relating to, or being a language (such as Inuit or Georgian) in which the objects of transitive verbs and subjects of intransitive verbs are typically marked by the same linguistic forms also : being an inflectional morpheme that typically marks the subject of a transitive verb in an ergative language

First Known Use of ergative

1939, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ergative

Greek ergatēs worker, from ergon work

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The first known use of ergative was in 1939

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Cite this Entry

“Ergative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ergative. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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