A Syntactic Approach to Lexical Variation in the Morphosyntax of Amis Transfers Verbs: A Case Study of PA-FLI ‘Give’ and PA-QACA ‘Sell’

Date
2013-12-01
Authors
Kuo, Cheng-Chuen (Jonathan)
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University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics
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2013
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Abstract
In the generative literature, ditransitive verbs have been analyzed as having either an applicative structure or a causative structure. Amis, an Austronesian language spoken in Taiwan, is typologically intriguing, since its verbs of transfer (e.g., ‘give’, ‘sell’, ‘lend’) always carry the “causative” morpheme, and may allow further “applicativization.” Amis also distinguishes two types of transfer verbs based on their subject (i.e., absolutive argument) selection in transitive constructions: one that prefers a goal as the subject (e.g., ‘give’), and one that always selects a theme as the subject (e.g., ‘sell’). This paper provides a syntactic approach to this lexical variation and argues that that subject selection in both types of transfer verbs is determined by their syntactic structures, which are conditioned by three major factors: (a) the nature of the root, (b) the projection of the apparent causative marking, and (c) the structural position of the apparent applicative morpheme.
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linguistics
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Kuo, Cheng-Chuen. 2013. A Syntactic Approach to Lexical Variation in the Morphosyntax of Amis Transfers Verbs: A Case Study of PA-FLI ‘Give’ and PA-QACA ‘Sell’. University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Working Papers in Linguistics 44(6).
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