Ergative and Antipassive Construction in Minangkabaunese: Are There?


  • Jufrizal Jufrizal FBS Universitas Negeri Padang
  • Lely Refnita Universitas Bung Hatta
  • M. Affandi Arianto Universitas Negeri Padang



Minangkabaunese, grammatical typology, ergative, antipassive


That Minangkabunese has active-passive dichotomy is not questioned anymore since it has been treated as an accusative language. Further typological analysis toward grammatical constructions of this language leads to a claim that it may be treated as an ergative language in which the ergative and antipassive constructions exist. That Minangkabaunese has ergative and antipassive construction is still questioned in some matters. Therefore, further grammatical-typological data, analysis, and discussion are needed. This paper, which is based on and developed from a part of results of research conducted in 2021-2022, particularly analyses whether Minangkabaunese has ergative and/or antipassive constructions. Two questions are raised, namely: (i) are there ergative and antipassive constructions in Minangkabaunese? and (ii) what is the linguistic implication of such claim toward grammatical typology of Minangkabaunese? This descriptive-qualitative study was practically operated as a linguistic field research and supported by a library study. Native speakers as represented by selected informants and written texts of Minangkabaunese were the sources of data. The data are in the form of clause constructions of Minangkabunese identified as the standard ones and were analyzed based on related theories of grammatical typology. The result of data analysis reveals that Minangkabaunese has ergative and antipassive constructions. Implicationally, this language may be typologically treated as an ergative language at the syntactic level beside as an accusative language.

Author Biographies

Lely Refnita, Universitas Bung Hatta

English Department

M. Affandi Arianto, Universitas Negeri Padang

English Department


Aldridge, E. (2012). Antipassive and Ergativity in Tagalog. In Lingua 122, 192-203.

Arifin, Z. (2006). Konstruksi “Ergative Baru”. In Bahasa Nusantara. Kajian Lingusitik dan Sastra 18(34), 79-87.

Arka, I. W., & Manning, C.D. (1998). Voice and Grammatical Relations in Indonesian: A New Perspective. In Proceedings of the LFG98 Conference. Brisbane: The University of Queesland, CSLI Publications.

Artawa, I K. (2005). Tipologi Bahasa dan Komunikasi Lintas Budaya (scientific oration). Denpasar: Universitas Udayana.

Artawa, I K., & Jufrizal. (2018). Tipologi Linguistik: Konsep Dasar dan Aplikasinya. Denpasar: Pustaka Larasan.

Artawa, I K., & Jufrizal. (2021). Tipologi Linguistik: Konsep Dasar dan Aplikasinya. (Edisi Revisi). Denpasar: Pustaka Larasan.

Azizah, N. (2020). Passive and Antipassive in Sasak. In e-Journal of Linguistics 14(2), 300-306

Billings, L. A. (2010). Maranao, Voice, and Diathesis. In Billings, L. A., and Goudswaard (eds.). Piakandatu ami Dr. Howard P. McKaughan, pp. 30-35, Manila: Linguistics Society of the Philippines and SIL Philippines.

Bugaeva, A. (2021). Unspecified Participant: A case of antipassive in Ainu. In Janic, K., and Witzlack-Makarevich (eds.). Antipassive, Typology Diachrony, and Related Constructions.

Chen, V., & McDonnell, B. (2018). Western Austronesian Voice. In Annual Review of Linguistics.

Comrie, B. (1989). Linguistic Universals and Linguistic Typology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Publisher Limited.

Deal, A. R. (2016). Syntactic Ergativity: Analysis and Identification. In Annual Review of Linguistics. doi:10.1146/annurev-linguistics-011415-040642

Dixon, R.M.W. (1979). Ergativity. In Language 55, 59-138

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

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

Dixon, R.M.W., & Aikhenvald, A. (2000). Changing Valency: Case Studies in Transitivity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Heaton, R. (2017). A typology of Antipassives, with special reference to Mayan (Ph.D Thesis). Manoa: University Hawai’i.

Heaton, R. (2020). Antipassives in Crosslinguistic Perspective. In Annual Review of Linguistics.

Jerono, P. (2018). Passive and Antipassive in Tugen. In International Journal of Language and Linguistics 5(3). doi:10.30845/ijll.v5n3p19

Jufrizal. (2021/2022). Sistem Diatesis Bahasa Minangkabau: Telaah Tipologi Linguistik (unpublished research report). Padang: FBS Universitas Negeri Padang.

Jufrizal & Refnita, L. (2022). Ergativity in Bahasa Indonesia and Minangkabaunese: the Case of Prefix ber- and ba-‘. Paper presented at the 11th ICLA. Padang: Fakultas Bahasa dan Seni Universitas Negeri Padang.

Kusuma, I. K. (2018). Passive and Antipassive voice Ergative Type of Nusantara Language. In Proceedings of the Fourth Prasasti International Seminar on Linguistics (Prasasti 2018).

Legate, J. A. (2012). Types of Ergativity. In Lingua 122 (2012), 181-191 doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2011.10.014 Elsevier B.V.

Lehman, W. P. (1978). Ergativity in Syntactic Typology: Studies in the Phenomenology of Language. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Moyse-Fauri, C. (2021). Antipassive constructions in Oceanic Languages. In HAL open Science.

Naonori, N. (2012). On the Syntactic Transitivity of Tagalog Actor-Focus Constructions. In NINJAL, Research Papers. 4: 49-76 ISSN: 2186-134X print/2186-1358 online

Plank F. (ed.). (1979). Ergativity: Towards a Theory of Grammatical Relations. London: Academic Press.

Sanso, A. (2015). Where do antipassive constructions come from? 22nd International Conference on Historical Linguistics. Naples, 26-31 July 2015.

Sanso, A. (2018). Explaining the diversity of antipassives: Formal grammar vs. (diachronic) typology. In Lang Linguist Compass.

Shibatani, M. (ed.). (1988). Passive and Voice. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Smith-Stark, Th. C. (1978). The Mayan Antipassive: Some facts and fictions. In N. England (ed.). Papers in Mayan Linguistics. University of Missouri: Studies in Mayan.

Song, J. J. (2001). Linguistic Typology: Morphology and Syntax. Essex: Longman Linguistic Library.

Song, J. J. (ed.). (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Song, J. J. (2018). Linguistic Typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Vydrin, V. (2011). Ergative/Absolutive and Active/Stative alignment in West Africa: The case of Southwestern Mande. In Studies in Language 35(2), 407-441. John Benjamins Publishing Company.




How to Cite

Jufrizal, J., Lely Refnita, & M. Affandi Arianto. (2024). Ergative and Antipassive Construction in Minangkabaunese: Are There?. Linguistik Indonesia, 42(1), 1–20.