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On Tue, 20 Feb 2001, J Matthew Pearson wrote:
> Nik Taylor wrote:
>
> > Well, Arabic uses accusative for the "object" of "to be" (i.e., treating
> > it as if it were a typical verb), so if that's possible, why wouldn't
> > ergative be possible as the subject of "to be"?
>
> Because "to be"--insofar as it's a verb at all--is an intransitive verb.

But we have things like English "it's him!" French "L'etat, c'est moi,"
and presumably whatever Arabic example Nik is thinking of mucking up the
works...

But I don't think anybody was saying that ergative as subject of "to be"
was impossible, just that it seemed very weird.

Ed