The Ergative System in Balochi from a Typological Perspective

Document Type : Research Paper


Frankfurt a.M. University, Germany


For the Western Iranian languages the transition from the Old Iranian to the Middle-Iranian period is characterised by – among other things – the loss of word-final syllables. This loss had a far-reaching impact on the nominal and verbal systems since it caused the loss of categories which had been expressed by suffixes. The consequences include the emergence of the so-called ergative system.
Although descriptions of the ergative construction in Balochi do exist, there is no treatment yet which takes into account the material of the different dialects. Furthermore, the ergative construction in Balochi has been compared with data from Old Iranian, but not with data from Middle Iranian languages, and the development from the Middle Iranian stage to the different types found in present-day Balochi has also not yet been studied. The aim of this paper is therefore to present the data from the Balochi dialects as far as they are known today and to update, complete (and in some points, correct) previous descriptions of the matter.

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