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A Typology of Antipassives, With Special Reference to Mayan.

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Title:A Typology of Antipassives, With Special Reference to Mayan.
Authors:Heaton, Raina A. T.
Contributors:Linguistics (department)
Keywords:antipassive
typology
Mayan
Kaqchikel
Date Issued:May 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:This dissertation presents the results of a typological study that investigated the global
distribution of antipassive constructions, as well as the distribution of the relevant antipassiverelated
features. The sample includes data from 445 languages, which represent 144 language
families and isolates. This larger study is informed by an in-depth analysis of Kaqchikel
antipassives, and how this influences our understanding of antipassives of Mayan languages.
The goals of this study are (1) to provide a more comprehensive look at antipassives and
antipassive-type structures than had previously been attempted; (2) to provide an updated
account of antipassives in Mayan languages, based on primary data; (3) to discover which other
typological factors relate to the existence of antipassives in a particular language (4) to discover
the types and distribution of features in antipassive-type constructions cross-linguistically, and
(5) to establish guidelines for the identification and description of antipassive-type constructions
in a wide variety of languages.
Among other discoveries, findings show that about 25% of the world’s language have
antipassive constructions. Antipassives tend to exist in languages with ergative-absolutive verb
alignment, although there are also non-ergative languages which have antipassives. Additionally,
while there is on some level a division between antipassives which serve primarily syntactic
functions and those which serve primarily pragmatic functions, the more consistent distinction is
between antipassives with allow the patient to be expressed in an oblique phrase and those which
do not. There are also a small number of languages which can be said to have more than one
antipassive.
Mayan languages are known for having a rather large number of voice distinctions,
including passives and antipassives. I identify five morphosyntactically distinct agent-preserving
detransitivizing constructions in Kaqchikel, two of which I considered to be antipassives. I also
look at several issues involving the markers for these constructions, the syntactic contexts in
which they appear, and how they differ in terms of their function. The facts for Kaqchikel are
also compared with what is known about other K’ichean and non-K’ichean languages.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62499
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Linguistics


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