Unergative verb

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Unergative verb is a special kind of intransitive verb. Semantically, unergative verbs have a subject perceived as actively initiating or actively responsible for the action expressed by the verb.


In English run, talk and resign are unergative verbs. In syntax, unergative verbs are characterized as verbs with an external argument. See unaccusative verb.



  • Burzio, L. 1986. Italian Syntax, Reidel, Dordrecht.
  • Perlmutter, D. & P. Postal 1984. The 1-Advancement Exclusiveness Law, in:D. Perlmutter & C. Rosen (eds.) Studies in Relational Grammar 2, 81-126, University of Chicago Press:Chicago.
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