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Workshop on the Acquisition of Ergativity

Workshop on the Acquisition of Ergativity

Date: 31.10. – 01.11. 2010

Place: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig (Germany)

Organised by:

  • Sabine Stoll (Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology)
  • Edith Bavin (La Trobe University)

Local organizer:

  • Claudia Schmidt (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)



Little comparative work has been undertaken on the acquisition of ergative languages. The workshop will bring together language acquisition researchers from linguistics and psychology as well as researchers interested in language typology and cognitive linguistics.  The primary aim of the workshop is to identify similarities and differences in the acquisition of ergative across a number of diverse languages. Additionally, the workshop aims to identify:

  1. factors that influence the use of ergative case/morphology in the input language and the extent to which such patterns influence acquisition
  2. discrepancies between adult and child use of ergative case/morphology
  3. processing preferences: ergative-absolutive and nominative-accusative patterns

The languages represented in the 12 acquisition papers to be presented are:

Basque: Basque
Eskimo-Aleut: Quebec Inuktitut
Indo-Iranian: Kurmanji Kurdish
Indo-Aryan: Hindi
Mayan: Tzeltal
Pama Nyungan: Warlpiri
Chimbu-Wahgi: Ku Waru
Duna-Pogaia: Duna
Sino-Tibetan: Chintang