LINGUIST List 14.2554

Wed Sep 24 2003

Qs: Trivalent Verbs

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  1. Florian Zellmayer, Trivalent verbs with 1/2 person theme or patient

Message 1: Trivalent verbs with 1/2 person theme or patient

Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 14:05:32 +0000
From: Florian Zellmayer <zellmayerchello.at>
Subject: Trivalent verbs with 1/2 person theme or patient

Divalent verbs in head-marking languages with two-slot agreement
reference agent and patient. With trivalent verbs, in many of those
languages the agent and the goal rather than the agent and the patient
are agreed with. The same is the case in beneficatives and other
applicatives where the agent and the benefactee or applied object
rather than the agent and the patient is agreed with. In trivalent
verbs, beneficatives, and applicatives the patient is often restricted
to 3rd person, then, because it is not indicated in the agreement
system.

Now, many of these head-marking languages (without case) do have
possibilities of expressing 1st or 2nd person patients in trivalent
verbs, benefactive verbs, or applicative construction. Some of them
encode e.g. ''I killed you for him'' as ''I killed your body for him''
or the like, thereby providing an ''escape hatch construction'', so to
say, for the 1st or 2nd person patient that cannot be expressed by
agreement.

Information on how 1st or 2nd patients in trivalent verbs or
beneficatives or beneficatives or applicatives is expressed or
circumlocuted in head-marking languages with two-slot agreement is
rarely contained in the relevant grammars.

So, if you work on such languages, or if you have materials or
references on this topic, please let me know.
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