ergative verb
An ambitransitive verb where the patient is the object of the transitive, but becomes the experiencer of the intransitive use.

Break is ergative because when we say "The window broke", the window is the thing getting broken, it is not the vandal.


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  • Ergative verb — In linguistics, an ergative verb is a verb that can be either transitive or intransitive, and whose subject when intransitive corresponds to its direct object when transitive.In EnglishIn English, most verbs can be used intransitively, but… …   Wikipedia

  • Ergative-absolutive language — An ergative absolutive language (or simply ergative language) is a language that treats the argument ( subject ) of an intransitive verb like the object of a transitive verb but distinctly from the agent ( subject ) of a transitive verb. Ergative …   Wikipedia

  • ergative — er•ga•tive [[t]ˈɜr gə tɪv[/t]] adj. 1) gram. of or designating a verb in which the subject of the intransitive construction is also the object of the transitive construction: The boat capsized. They capsized the boat[/ex] 2) gram. a) of or… …   From formal English to slang

  • ergative — UK [ˈɜː(r)ɡətɪv] / US [ˈɜrɡətɪv] adjective linguistics an ergative verb can have its object as its subject without changing its meaning. For example, open is an ergative verb because you can say I opened the door or the door opened . Derived word …   English dictionary

  • ergative — [[t]ɜ͟ː(r)gətɪv[/t]] ADJ An ergative verb is a verb that can be both transitive and intransitive, where the subject of the intransitive verb is the same as the object of the transitive verb. For example, open is an ergative verb because you can… …   English dictionary

  • Ergative — The term ergative is used in grammar in three different meanings:* Ergative case, * Ergative absolutive language * Ergative verb …   Wikipedia

  • ergative — er|ga|tive [ ɜrgətıv ] adjective LINGUISTICS an ergative verb can have its object as its subject without changing its meaning. For example, open is an ergative verb because you can say I opened the door or the door opened. ╾ er|ga|tive noun count …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • ergative — 1. adjective /ˈɜːɡətɪv,ˈɝɡətɪv/ Used of various situations where the subject of transitive constructions have different grammatical cases or thematic relations to those of intransitive constructions. The case systems of ergative languages are… …   Wiktionary

  • ergative — er|ga|tive [ˈə:gətıv US ˈə:r ] adj technical an ergative verb can be either ↑transitive or ↑intransitive, with the same word used as the object of the transitive form and as the subject of the intransitive form, such as cooked in the sentences He …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • ergative — is a term for a type of verb of action or movement in which the object of the verb can become the subject of the same verb used intransitively (without an object), as in They closed the door / The door closed. There are many verbs of this type,… …   Modern English usage

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