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Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman AreaVolume 34.2 — October 2011101OPTIONAL CASE MARKING IN DARMA (TIBETO-BURMAN) *Christina M. WillisRice UniversityAbstract: In this paper I will explore the limitations of using a single methodologyin language description and documentation. Specifically, I will argue as others have(Chelliah 2001; Sherzer 1987; Urban 1991), that multiple methods of datacollection are necessary in order to adequately describe a language. To illustrate mypoint I will examine the distribution of ergative case marking in Darma. Describedin early sketches as having a split-ergative system, I demonstrate that the pattern ofdistribution for the ergative morpheme is not obligatory and that it can appear in avariety of contexts that extend beyond the limits described in the split-system.Using data obtained through multiple methodologies, I show that the use of theergative is not only optional, but its use may serve a pragmatic function that is notyet fully understood.Keywords: T...