from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to the grammatical case in ergative languages of the subject of an intransitive verb and the object of a transitive verb.
  • n. The absolutive case.
  • n. An absolutive inflection.
  • n. A nominal having an absolutive form.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the grammatical case used to indicate the patient or experiencer of a verb’s action.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • But there is another common language type in the world called ergative-absolutive.

    Behind Bars | ATTACKERMAN

  • Healthy fact-based skepticism is not equal to toxic absolutive skepticism based on petty feeling.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • Of course, that all begs the question as to whether the athematic nom. sg. ending *-s and athematic pronominal nom./acc. (better "abs." for absolutive) sg. ending *-d are indeed from postclitic demonstratives/articles, as opposed to coming from some other source(s).

    Precising on a new rule to explain Pre-IE word-final voicing

  • Also when I read Allan Bomhard or other Nostraticists, I try consciously to not get stuck into absolutive thinking and pre-judge people as either 100% kooky or 100% infallible.

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • It appears that an extra element *-e has been added to this absolutive set at an early stage of PIE, perhaps to use it for transitive verbs by marking it with a dummy object nb.

    Archive 2007-12-01

  • So I figure the best way to explain that is to propose a suppletive absolutive-ergative system for Nostratic as follows note that my intention is to conjecture for the sake of discussion:

    A ramble about the Nostratic pronominal system, part 2

  • Simply put, Dravidian could have opted to generalize the absolutive pronouns for both agents and patients of actions and thus PDr *yān

    A ramble about the Nostratic pronominal system, part 2

  • As a result, we would expect to see the ergative and absolutive pronouns eventually attached to verbs as affixes in a new subjective-objective conjugation as I believe could have happened in a hypothetical ancestor of Indo-European, Altaic, Uralic-Yukaghir, Chukchi-Kamchatkan, Eskimo-Aleut and Dravidian.

    A ramble about the Nostratic pronominal system, part 2

  • You were wondering where I got that “absolutive participial” from?

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • This absolutive participial construction now spreading like wildfire through our discourse was brought to my attention by the Floridians Sylvia and Morton Holstein.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time


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