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LINGUIST List 19.1789

Wed Jun 04 2008

Qs: Hindi Causatives

Editor for this issue: Catherine Adams <catherinlinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Gavin Austin, Hindi Causatives


Message 1: Hindi Causatives
Date: 02-Jun-2008
From: Gavin Austin <gaustin2une.edu.au>
Subject: Hindi Causatives
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Dear all,

I have a quick question about causatives in Hindi. I hope a native Hindi
speaker can help.

(1) raam-nee khaanaa khaa-yaa.
Ram-AGENT food eat-PAST
'Ram ate dinner.'

(2) mal-nee raam-koo/*see khaanaa khil-aa-yaa.
I-AGENT Ram-DAT/ACC food eat-CAUS-PAST
'I fed Ram.'

(3) raam-nee nahaa-yaa.
Ram-AGENT bathe-PAST
'Ram bathed.

(4) mal-nee raam-kool*see nahal-aa-yaa.
I-AGENT Ram-DAT/ACC bathe-CAUS-PAST
'I bathed Ram.'

Is the following correct? In (2), Ram cannot perform the action of eating
without assistance: perhaps he is a small child or an invalid. In (4),
however, there is no obligatory implication that Ram needs help. Perhaps he
does, or perhaps he doesn’t.

Basically I'm interested in whether causatives in Hindi take obligatorily
assisted causees when the verb is ingestive (e.g. 2), but not otherwise.
Sinhala is like this, for example.

Best,

Gavin Austin
U of New England
(examples from Saksena 1980)

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Subject Language(s): Hindi (hin)

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