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Verbs in English that we will callergative 7.1 display the kind of alternation shown in the sentences in ((7)) and ((8)) below.
The sun melted the ice .  (7)0(7
The ice melted . 

The object of the transitive sentence in ((7)) corresponds to the subject of the intransitive sentence in ((8)). The literature discussing such pairs is based largely on syntactic models that involve movement, particularly GB. Within that framework two basic approaches are discussed:

Although XTAG does not have derivational movement, the relationships between the two arguments can be translated to the FB-LTAG framework. In the XTAG grammar the difference between these two approaches is not a matter of movement but rather a question of tree family selection. The relation between sentences represented in terms of movement in other frameworks is represented in XTAG by membership in the same tree family or selection of multiple families which preserve the argument relations across families. Wh-questions and their indicative counterparts are one example of the former, whereas ergatives and ditransitives with PP shift exemplify the latter. Adopting the Pure Intransitive approach suggested by [#!Napoli88!#] would mean placing the intransitive ergatives in a tree family with other intransitive verbs and separate from the transitive variants of the same verbs. This would result in a grammar that represented intransitive ergatives as more closely related to other intransitives than to their transitive counterparts. The only hint of the relation between the intransitive ergatives and the transitive ergatives would be that ergative verbs would select both tree families. While this is a workable solution, it is an unattractive one for the English XTAG grammar because semantic coherence is lost. In particular, constancy in thematic role is represented by constancy in node names across sentence types within a tree family. For example, if the object of a declarative tree is NP1 the subject of the passive tree(s) in that family will also be NP1. The analysis that has been implemented in the English XTAG grammar is an adaptation of the Derived Intransitive approach. The ergatives select the two families Tnx0Vnx1 and TEnx1V. TEnx1V is quite similar to the regular intransitive family Tnx0V, except that it encodes a different type of semantic function--the syntactic subject of TEnx1V is given the index of `1' to represent that it is the logical object of the verb. The two families Tnx0Vnx1 and TEnx1V create the two possibilities needed to account for the data.


{Ergative Tree: $\alpha$Enx1V


The declarative ergative tree is shown in Figure 7.1. Note that the index of the subject NP indicates that it originated as the object of the verb.

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