This report investigates the uses of the ergative case marker in transitive clauses in Bumthang, a language of Central Bhutan. We discuss the conditions under which the ergative is required and show that a simple analysis involving multiple influences models the data. Previous studies have shown that variable case marking may be determined by syntactic, semantic, or pragmatic factors, but in Bumthang we see that all of these factors play a role in determining the use of the ergative case marker. We hope that our analysis will prove useful for understanding the variable uses of the ergative case marker in Himalayan and other languages as well as providing interesting challenges for formal models of case marking.


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pp. 179-188
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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