Relativization in the Bima Language: Redefining Subject in Primitives Syntactic-Semantic Universals

Arafiq Arafiq, Ketut Artawa, I Wayan Pastika, Made Sri Satyawati


Language typology still become an interesting subject to discuss in linguistics. With its assumption of the universality of language, it has not reached out all languages in the world and put them in groups. Many works on the area have succeeded, but some remain challenging. This paper tries to describe the relativization of grammatical functions in the Bima Language as one of syntactical tests of language typology. It is assumed that the relativization strategy applied in a language indicates its typology. If a language can relativize all arguments of a clause, the language shows the indication of accusative. However, if it only allows its subject argument, it indicates ergative. Based on the data about relativization of the Bima Language, relativization can only be done on subject grammatical, not the object, oblique, and adjunct like Balinese, Dyirbal, and the Language of Malagasy. However, most of the syntactical properties of the Bima Language, such as the word order, coreferences of grammatical relations and diathesis indicate accusative. The problem arouses that S of transitive in the Bima Language bears agentive function of accusative language rather than patient of ergative. These evidences evoke to redefine the notion of subject grammatical (S) of transitive in the primitives syntactic-semantic universal by putting semantic at the same consideration with syntax.


Relativization; Grammatical Relations; Syntactic-Semantic Universal

Full Text:



Artawa, K. (1994). Ergativity and Balinese Syntax (Disertasi). Melbourne: La Trobe University.

Artawa, K. (1996). Keergatifan Sintaksis dalam Bahasa Bali, Sasak, dan Indonesia. Dalam PELLBA 10. Jakarta: Lembaga Bahasa Universitas Katholik Atma Jaya.

Artawa, K. (2004). Balinese Language: A Typological Description. Denpasar: CV Bali Media Adikarsa.

Budiarta, I. W. (2013). Tipologi Sintaksis Bahasa Kemak (Disertasi). Denpasar: Program Doktor, Program Studi Linguistik, Program Pascasarjana, Universitas Udayana.

Chomsky, N. (1977). Essay on Form and Interpretation. Amsterdam: North Holland.

Comrie, B. (1981). Language Universal and Linguistic Typology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Comrie, B. (1989). Language Universal and Linguistic Typology. Second Edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (4th Edition). Sage Publications, Inc.

Dixon, R. M. W. (1994). Ergativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dixon, R. M. W. (2010). Basic Linguistic Theory. Vol 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Givon, T. (1990). A Syntax: A Functional Typological. Volume II. John Benjamin Publishing Company. Amsterdam/Philadelpia

Hopper, P. J. and Thompson, Sandra A. (1982). Syntax and Semantics: Volume 15: Studies in Transitivity. London: Academic Press.

Keenan, Edward L. & Comrie, B. (1977). Noun Phrase Accessibility and Universal Grammar. Linguistic Inquiry 8. 63-99.

Mahsun. (2006). Distrubusi dan pemetaan varian-varian Bahasa Mbojo. Yogyakarta: Media Gama.

Song, Jae Jung. (2001). Linguistic Typology: Morphology and Syntax. London: Longman.

Sudaryanto. (1998). Metode Linguistik. Yogyakarta: Gadjah Mada University Press.

Verhaar, John W. M. (1989). Pengantar Linguistik. Yogyakarta: Gadjah Mada University Press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding (IJMMU) ISSN 2364-5369
Copyright © 2014-2018 IJMMU. All rights reserved.