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[ur-guh-tiv] /ˈɜr gə tɪv/


Linguistics. pertaining to a type of language that has an ergative case or in which the direct object of a transitive verb has the same form as the subject of an intransitive verb.
Compare (def 2).
noun, Grammar.
the ergative case.
a word in the ergative case.
a form or construction of similar function or meaning.
denoting a type of verb that takes the same noun as either direct object or as subject, with equivalent meaning. Thus, “fuse” is an ergative verb: “He fused the lights” and “The lights fused” have equivalent meaning
denoting a case of nouns in certain languages, for example, Inuktitut or Basque, marking a noun used interchangeably as either the direct object of a transitive verb or the subject of an intransitive verb
denoting a language that has ergative verbs or ergative nouns
an ergative verb
an ergative noun or case of nouns

1943, grammatical case used for the subjects of transitive verbs (in Eskimo, Basque, Caucasian languages), from Greek ergatos “workman,” from ergos “work” (see urge (v.)) + -ive.


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