The University of Sussex

Why the Basque transitive verb is not passive

Larry Trask

There has long been disagreement as to what (if anything) is the subject of a Basque sentence. In spite of a substantial body of recent work on the syntax of ergative languages in general, and of Basque in particular, this disagreement has by no means been resolved to general satisfaction, and the current literature continues to display a considerable diversity of analyses. This article constitutes an attempt (a rather ambitious one, no doubt) to review all of the available evidence and to establish once and for all both the existence and the identity of the class of grammatical subjects in Basque.

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