Talk:Active–stative language

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I have re-moved this page from "Nominative-absolutive language" because that title seems to have been chosen only for symmetry (Google finds no instances of it except in online copies of Wikipedia). "Active language" is attested and in wide use. Moreover, while the terms "agentive case" and "patientive case" are not in wide use, they are descriptive, and they don't run into conflict with other designations. Nominative and absolutive have definite connotations, and they are not used like that in any language that I know of. Moreover, the cases designated thus are both the least marked in their respective alignment systems.

This page still needs much more. Daniel Andréason's paper (external link) should be summarized in the article.

--Pablo D. Flores 13:41, 24 May 2005 (UTC)


This article listed Guaraní at three times. I've removed it from the section about North American languages, since it clearly doesn't belong. However, there are two contradictory mentions remaining of Guaraní being (respectively) fluid-S or split-S. I believe it is mostly split-S, based on these sources (among others I might have forgotten): [[1]]; [[2]] (implied at least); [[3]]; [[4]] (implied). Would someone please determine which it is, and make the necessary change?

(paraphrase of the above was also posted at Talk:Guaraní_language#Alignment)

Also, the article needs a lot of cleanup that I'm not qualified to do. The list of languages displaying active alignment is rather sloppy. The second mention of Guaraní, along with mentions of other North American languages and Proto-Indo-European, are for some reason listed under "Siberia". I'm not sure where to put them, so I'm leaving them there. (talk) 06:45, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

The dividing line between fluid-S and split-S is (apparently) arbitrary. Perhaps we should quote a source that is suggestive of the arbitrariness like Andréassan who says the language is "a so-called fluid-S language, at least in some cases". -- SgtSchumann (talk) 15:50, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Hard to understand[edit]

I'm sorry I came to this page looking for some basic information on active language and was befuddled after the first paragraph. Surely there is a way to write this in a way that is easy to understand? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:55, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Split ergative vs Active-stative[edit]

Most of the text under the heading "Types" clearly doesn't belong in this article as it has to do with the (slightly overlapping) concept of split ergativity, not active-stative languages.

Split ergative languages are languages which behave sometimes as erg-abs and sometimes as nom-acc, either depending on some grammatical feature of the clause or in different subsystems (such as verbal morphology vs nominal morphology). Active-stative languages cover languages which behave as erg-abs with one set of intransitive verbs and nom-acc with another, and languages which behave as erg-abs or nom-abs depending on the semantics of the clause.

So, as should be clear, active-stative languages are (arguably) a *subtype* of split ergative languages, but the two terms are definitely not synonymous and most of the text under the heading "Types" doesn't concern active-stative languages but different types of split ergativity. As it is it makes the article internally contradictory and potentially quite misleading.

To halt the spread of clearly incorrect information, I've deleted the section in question--of course, if anyone else strongly feels that I've got this wrong somehow, then it can be put back.. Tzirtzi (talk) 14:43, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Man, I don't know how I missed that when I deleted the preceding paragraph. But a couple of the paragraphs actually were about split-S and fluid-S languages, so I restored those. — kwami (talk) 21:07, 12 November 2012 (UTC)


Is voice a common feature in active-stative languages? Accusative languages generally have a passive voice, Ergative languages an antipassive, but voice seems a bit redundant for AS languages. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:17, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Causative verbs[edit]

In a sentence like "I make him eat his dinner", "I" is clearly an agent and "his dinner" a patient, but what is "him"? It's the patient of my efforts, but the agent of eating. How do active-stative languages handle cases like this, if they have them at all? CodeCat (talk) 00:01, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Hi- your question has to do with control in syntax: Control_(linguistics) --Cxhh (talk) 22:40, 23 March 2017 (UTC)