This squib discusses environments in which a subject bears ergative case in the absence of an absolutive object, contrasting syntactically ergative languages (e.g., Q’anjob’al) with languages in which the ergative argument cannot be targeted for φ-agreement (e.g., Hindi-Urdu). In these environments, the parallels between Ā-movement and verb agreement with respect to the morphological accessibility hierarchy (Bobaljik 2008, Deal 2016) break down: in the absence of an absolutive object, syntactically ergative languages allow for extraction of the ergative argument, but in absolutive-only φ-agreement languages, agreement never targets the ergative argument.

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