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Nik Taylor wrote:

> J Matthew Pearson wrote:
> > Because "to be"--insofar as it's a verb at all--is an intransitive verb.
>
> But my point was that Arabic treats it as transitive, so why wouldn't it
> be possible for an ergative language to treat it the same way?

It's possible in principle, I guess, but I know of no ergative language which
works like that.

Incidentally, how do you know that Arabic treats the copula as transitive?
Couldn't it be that accusative is the unmarked case in Arabic?  (Cf. English
"It is me" or French "C'est moi".)

Matt.