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Tue Apr 01 2008

Review: Typology: Næss (2007)

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        1.    Randall Eggert, Review: Typology: Næss (2007)


Message 1: Review: Typology: Næss (2007)
Date: 01-Apr-2008
From: Randall Eggert <randylinguistlist.org>
Subject: Review: Typology: Næss (2007)
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Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/18/18-2640.html AUTHOR: Næss, ÅshildTITLE: Prototypical TransitivitySERIES: Typological Studies in Language 72PUBLISHER: John BenjaminsYEAR: 2007

Peter M. Arkadiev, Institute of Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

SUMMARYThe book by Norwegian scholar Åshild Næss is a revised version of her doctoraldissertation (Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, 2003). The topic addressed byNæss is the relation between semantic and morphosyntactic aspects oftransitivity as seen from the position of functional-typological linguistics;more precisely, she argues for a particular interpretation of Hopper andThompson's (1980) conception of transitivity. Among the issues discussed arethose of considerable generality, e.g. the definitions of the semantic prototypeof transitivity and of the semantic roles Agent and Patient, the relationbetween prototypicality and markedness, approaches to the functions of casemarking and ergativity, as well as more particular problems, such as the notionsof the 'Affected Agent' and the semantic properties of the so called 'ingestive'predicates, indefinite object deletion, the functions of the Dative case etc.The core idea of the book is that the semantic prototype of transitivity isdefined by the 'Maximal Semantic Distinctness' of Agent and Patient, and thatany kind of deviation from this prototype may result in a formally intransitivestructure in a given language. Various implications from this hypothesis arediscussed in different chapters of the book, based on rich cross-linguisticmaterial.

The Introduction (p. 1-9) outlines the main goals and theoretical preliminariesof the book. Næss states (p. 3) that ''a main goal of this book is to discuss howprinciples of functional and cognitive linguistics can be brought to bear in anattempt at understanding the phenomenon of transitivity from a cross-linguisticperspective.'' In addition, Næss defines the notion of transitive clause (''aconstruction with two syntactically privileged arguments'') as more narrow than''two-participant clause''; the well-known labels A(gent) and O(bject) (cf. Dixon1979), in her understanding, refer to the latter more broad notion, thus notrestricted to particular grammatical functions.

In Chapter 2 ''Why a transitive prototype'' (p. 11-26) Næss argues that adefinition of transitivity in terms of a semantic prototype is necessary.Prototype models as introduced by Rosch (1978) are characterized by allowingdifferent members of a category to be similar to the prototype to differentdegrees, and Næss gives examples from a variety of languages which show that asimple dichotomy between one-argument and two-argument clauses is not sufficientto adequately define transitivity. Næss discusses the influential proposal ofHopper and Thompson (1980), who claim that transitivity is a gradable notiondefined by a range of semantic features, and argues that the question why thisprototype of transitivity exists at all and why it looks the way it does in avariety of languages remain unanswered.

Another topic discussed in this chapter is the alternative conception oftransitivity proposed by Comrie (1981), who argues that the most ''natural'' and''unmarked'' transitive construction is the one with an O low in individuation(animacy and/or definiteness). This is at odds with Hopper and Thompson'sconception, which explicitly states that the more individuated is O, the higheris the degree of transitivity of the construction. Næss attempts to resolve thisconflict by saying that the notions ''prototypical transitive clause'' and ''leastmarked two-participant clause'' are not and must not be synonymous, and thatsince the prototypical transitive construction involves two syntacticallyprominent arguments it is by definition marked with respect to constructionswith only one such argument, e.g. syntactically intransitive two-participantclauses.

Chapter 3 ''Defining the transitive prototype: The Maximally DistinguishedArguments Hypothesis'' (p. 27-49) is devoted to the main theoretical claim of thebook, viz. that the function of the prototypical transitive clause is to encodesituations with two maximally distinct participants. Næss adopts the notion ofdistinguishability of participants as defined by Kemmer (1993), which includesboth physical (the participants must be clearly identifiable as differententities) and conceptual (participants must play different roles in the event)distinctness, and formulates the following hypothesis (p. 30):

The Maximally Distinct Arguments HypothesisA prototypical transitive clause is one where the two participants are maximallysemantically distinct in terms of their roles in the event described by the clause.

Næss then discusses the notion of semantic (thematic) relations, and argues forsuch a definition of the problematic concepts of Agent and Patient which wouldconform to the Maximally Distinct Arguments Hypothesis. The definitions areprovided in terms of three binary features: Volitionality (a volitionalparticipant exercises its capacity of participating in an event on its own willin interacting with the particular event), Instigation (roughly similar to thenotion of causation), and Affectedness (change of state as a result of beinginvolved in the event). Agent is defined as [+VOL,+INST,-AFF], while Patient bycontrast is assigned [-VOL,-INST,+AFF] (cf. Testelets 1998).

Finally, Næss addresses the question of a possible functional explanation of thetransitive prototype defined above. A prototypical transitive construction, sheargues, is an iconic way to express events with two salient participants, andthis can also account for the relative markedness of fully transitive clauseswith respect to other ways of encoding two-participant situations. Næss statesthat ''in terms of conceptual structure and demands of processing, it could beargued that such a way of representing events is to a certain extentuneconomical'' (p. 48) and may be avoided in actual discourse (cf. DuBois 1987).Thus in languages with object incorporation or antipassivization the fullytransitive clauses will be used more rarely and only when it is necessary to payequal attention to both participants. This, in Næss's opinion, explains ''thecrosslinguistic tendency for prototypically transitive clauses to be markedrelative to other kinds of two-participant constructions'' (p. 49).

In the following chapters of the book different implications of the MaximallyDistinct Arguments Hypothesis are discussed; one of the main predictions of itis that any kind of deviation from the maximal distinction of participants mayresult in a formally intransitive construction.

In Chapter 4 ''The Affected Agent'' (p. 51-84) Næss provides a detailed discussionof the notion of 'Affected Agent' defined by the properties [+VOL,+INST,+AFF].This relatively understudied notion, introduced by Saksena (1980), turns out tobear important impact on different grammatical processes. Affected Agents are bydefinition those which are significantly affected by the event they volitionallyinstigate; events involving an Affected Agent are 'eating', 'drinking' and othersituations described by so called 'ingestive' verbs, also including suchpredicates as 'learn', 'see', 'put on', 'read' etc. These verbs arecharacterized by emphasizing the effect of the event on the participant it isinstigated by; the Agent's goal in such situations is rather to achieve acertain change of his or her own state, than bringing out a change in the Patient.

Næss provides evidence for a cross-linguistic tendency of ingestive predicatesto show intransitive behavior. Of particular interest is her discussion of theintransitive 'eat' in English, which shows ''deviant'' aspectual properties, beingambiguous between an activity (John ate for ten minutes) and an accomplishment(John ate in ten minutes). Næss convincingly shows that the accomplishmentreading is due to the affectedness of the agentive subject of this verb which isable to ''measure out'' the event in terms of Tenny (1994). Further evidence fornot fully transitive status of ingestive verbs comes from cross-referencing andcase-marking of arguments and causativization strategies. Finally, Næss providesinteresting data on verbs meaning 'eat' being grammaticalized as markers ofaffectedness (e.g. in Korean, Turkish, Sinhala, Dulong). Næss claims that thedifferent aspects of the special behavior of ingestive predicates all followfrom the Maximally Distinguished Arguments Hypothesis, and provides evidence forthe relevance of the notion 'Affected Agent' from other lexical domains.

Chapter 5 ''Transitivity in verbs and clauses'' (p. 85-122) is devoted to variousfactors relevant to the degree of semantic transitivity and able to affect themorphosyntactic realization of the clause. First Næss discusses various possiblecombinations of the features Volitionality, Instigation and Affectedness besidesthose constituting the Agent and the Patient (and also the Affected Agent dealtwith in Chapter 4). Næss refines a feature-decompositional analysis ofRozwadowska (1988) and proposes the following role specifications:

[+VOL,-INST,+AFF] 'Volitional Undergoer' (including both a special type ofpatients which volitionally submit to being affected by the action, as well asexperiencers, beneficiaries and recipients); this type of participant is furtherdiscussed in Chapter 8.

[-VOL,+INST,-AFF] 'Force', an inanimate object ''which employs its own energy incarrying out an action ..., but deviates from our definition of Agent in that itis not volitionally involved in this action'' (p. 93).

[-VOL,+INST,+AFF] 'Instrument', i.e. the object which mediates between the Agentand the Patient in the causal structure of the event.

[+VOL,-INST,-AFF] 'Frustrative', i.e. ''participants which are volitionallyinvolved in that they want or attempt to instigate an act, but are unable to orprevented from carrying out the act, so that no actual instigation takes place''(p. 99); this kind of participant is present in negative sentences as well as inconstructions denoting ability.

[-VOL,-INST,-AFF] 'Neutral': an argument that is related to the event in waysother than controlling it or being affected by it, e.g. the 'stimulus' ofemotional predicates, but also the so-called 'effected' objects which come intoexistence as a result of the event.

Næss shows that all these feature combinations are relevant to grammaticalprocesses cross-linguistically, though the concrete range of semantic functionstreated as 'Neutral', 'Volitional Undergoer' etc. may vary between particularlanguages. Further she discusses how verbal lexemes may specify particularfeatures and combinations thereof in their lexical entries, and argues that suchspecification may better account for selectional restrictions of verbs than thetraditional notion of semantic roles.

Further, Næss shows how semantic transitivity may be affected by the degree ofindividuation of the arguments, and by such clause-level properties as negation(which, as she claims, may change the positive values of the features'Volitionality', 'Instigation' and 'Affectedness' into negative), mood, andaspect (which may imply affectedness or lack thereof). Finally, she discussesdata from Finnish and Russian and claims that the Partitive case in the formerand the Imperfective aspect in the latter serve to express the [-AFF] feature ofthe O argument.

Chapter 6 ''Ambitransitivity and indefinite object deletion'' (p. 123-151) isdevoted to the phenomenon of the so-called 'lability' or 'ambitransitivity',i.e. situations when a verb may figure in both transitive and intransitivesyntactic frames without any kind of derivational marking signaling change ofvalency. She argues against lumping together two principal kinds of lability(S/A ambitransitivity = indefinite object deletion, and S/O ambitransitivity =causative/inchoative alternations), specifically against the general conceptionproposed by Drossard (1998). The major part of the chapter deals with S/Aambitransitivity. Næss discusses the kinds of verbs which exhibit indefiniteobject deletion crosslinguistically, and shows that these are usually the verbswith affected agents and the verbs with effected objects. Such clause-levelfeatures as iterativity and genericity are also taken into account, and Næssconcludes that indefinite object deletion is a kind of transitivity reducingmechanism applied in those cases when the degree of semantic distinguishabilityof participants is not high enough for the canonical transitive construction tobe used. What Næss considers to be an important characteristic of indefiniteobject deletion is its syntactic nature, sensitive to different semantic andpragmatic features. Of particular interest is the subsection where the case ofsemantic specialization of objectless uses of ingestive predicates is discussed.By contrast, the S/O ambitransitivity is claimed to be a genuinely lexicalphenomenon mainly conditioned by the semantics of verbs.

Chapter 7 ''Maximal semantic distinction in core case-marking'' (p. 153-184)addresses the long-debated issue of the functions of core case-marking and ofmotivations behind different alternations thereof. Næss argues that the twogeneral theoretical approaches to core case-marking (the 'discriminatory'approach, which assumes that the basic function of core case-marking is toovertly distinguish between the arguments of a transitive clause; and the'indexing' approach, which, on the other hand, claims that case-marking issemantically-driven) are insufficient when taken in isolation. Instead, sheproposes a mixed conception of case-marking, which assumes that the basicfunction of core case-marking is ''to discriminate, not between subject andobject, but between the participants of a fully transitive situation'' (p. 166).Næss brings forward the data from diverse languages, where the case-marking ofAgent is sensitive to such properties of the O participant as individuation anddegree of affectedness, or, on the other hand, the case-marking of Patientdepends on the volitionality of the Agent.

In order to account for the cross-linguistic variation in core case-marking,Næss proposes to treat semantic and discriminatory functions as competingmotivations which may be differently ranked in different languages. In somelanguages, the tendency for case marking to be semantically motivated is sostrong that differentiation between Agents and Patients is extended toone-participant clauses and results in a 'split-S' system. Næss hypothesizesthat case-marking of Agents/Patients is especially prone to generalize toparticipants which share positive values of the defining semantic features withthe prototypical A or O. Thus, ergative case may be extended to forces[-VOL,+INST,-AFF] more readily than to instruments [-VOL,+INST,+AFF]. Næssstates that the frequent extensions of core case-marking from the canonicaltransitive participants to semantically similar functions do not obviate thebasic semantic motivation of case marking.

In other languages, on the contrary, the discriminatory function wins, which maylead to cross-linguistically not very common situations when the core-casemarking appears only when there is need to differentiate between arguments.

Næss also discusses different types of so called 'split ergativity', and arguesthat the tense/aspect split, when ergative marking appears only in past orperfective clauses, is straightforwardly motivated by the semantic prototype oftransitivity. By contrast, the well-known NP-splits based on the NominalHierarchy (1st person > 2nd person > 3rd person > proper nouns > human > animate> inanimate, cf. Silverstein 1976, Dixon 1979) are considered by Næss to bemotivated by very different factors, since in such systems it is not thecanonical A and O that are marked, but rather those participants which arepresented as A or O but do not have inherent properties of typical A or O. Næsseven considers a possibility of not using the terms 'Ergative' and 'Accusative'for core cases of NP-split systems.

In Chapter 8 ''Experiencers and the dative'' (p. 185-208) Næss focuses on theparticipants with feature specification [+VOL,-INST,+AFF], which she callsVolitional Undergoers. Næss shows that this kind of participant, whose maincharacteristic is that they ''undergo a mental, emotional or sensory experienceof some kind'' (p. 185), exhibit quite an impressive diversity of semanticsubtypes, among which it is possible to distinguish experiencers of perceptionalor emotive predicates, recipients, possessors and animate causees, which in somelanguages show similar formal marking. Næss provides counterexamples to claimsby Croft (1993) that only mental state verbs should allow typological variationin assigning grammatical functions to participants, showing that most variationis in fact found with the inchoative mental verbs. Næss argues that the semanticspecification of experiencers, where agentive (volition) and patientive(affectedness) properties are combined, motivates the crosslinguistic tendencyto intransitive encoding of perception and emotion predicates.

Further, Næss discusses the various functions the Dative case hascross-linguistically and claims it to be the dedicated marker of VolitionalUndergoers, which she calls the ''third salient way in which specifically humanparticipants may be involved in an event, namely through being the target ofsome effect which crucially presupposes sentience'' (p. 198). Næss focuses on theextensions of the Dative marking to semantic functions related to the VolitionalUndergoer, viz. Possessor, Causee, animate/human Undergoer, less affectedobjects of such verbs as 'hit' as opposed to 'kill', and finally Dative markingof sentient intransitive Subjects, and shows that all of them are semanticallyrelated to the prototype.

In the concluding Chapter 9 ''Beyond prototypical transitivity'' (p. 209-218) Næssbriefly addresses some issues that are related to the core problems of the bookbut are not discussed in detail. These are the notions of Subject and Object asopposed to semantic roles Agent and Patient, the distinction between'structural' and 'semantic' case, and the problem of other prototypicalcategories in the domain of core clause structure. As to the latter question,Næss argues that in contrast to the semantic prototype of transitivity based onthe maximal distinctness of participants, ''the notion of an intransitiveprototype may not actually have much semantic content beyond the simplespecification of a single participant'': (p. 214), and that prototypicalditransitive constructions may be actually very marked and cross-linguisticallyrare since they would imply not two but three highly salient participants.

EVALUATIONThe book ''Prototypical Transitivity'' is well written and should be praised fordiscussing a wide range of important problems in a condensed manner; it could betwice thicker than it is, but no one could guarantee that in this case it wouldhave been a much better book. Næss makes clear theoretical and analytical claimsand convincingly defends her point, providing critical discussions of earlierproposals. Besides having formulated a sound general approach to transitivity,Næss provides illuminating discussions of issues which are of theoreticalinterest on their own (e.g. the Affected Agent constructions and ingestivepredicates in Chapter 4 and elsewhere, and of case-marking and split ergativityin Chapter 7). The discussion of the relation between prototypicality andmarkedness in Chapters 2, 3, and 7 is of particular theoretical importance,since it is a successful attempt to resolve a long controversy concerning thefunctional load of transitive morphosyntactic structures. However, I would liketo highlight several points which make one think that this book could be betterthan it is.

When writing on the topic of such generality as transitivity, a topic by nomeans underrepresented in linguistic theorizing, one should be very careful notto mix up two quite different 'modes of discourse': making original and noveltheoretical claims which cause one to look at the phenomenon from asubstantially different point of view, and providing empirical support foralready existing conceptions, or reformulating them in a more explicit andgeneral fashion. Honestly speaking, the book by Næss contains quite a lot of thelatter, and not as much of the former as perhaps the author herself believes.

The main theoretical claim of the book, that prototypical transitivity is basedon the notion of maximal semantic distinction of participants, is in itself notreally novel. Næss acknowledges (p. 45) that ''the polar distribution of controland affectedness over the participants of a clause is recognized as an essentialcriterion of transitivity'' by Testelets (1998) and a number of other scholars,including one she seems to completely ignore, Primus (1999), who makesessentially similar claims: ''a maximally transitive sentence can be defined as asentence containing at least two participants so that each participantaccumulates the maximal number of basic semantic relations defining aProto-Role'' (Primus 1999: 59), where Proto-Roles are understood in the sense ofDowty (1991). The particular details of the approaches by Primus and by Næss aredifferent, as well as the material they discuss, but I believe that it is animportant flaw that Næss has not paid attention to a substantial contribution tothe very core of the field she is working on. More or less the same can be saidabout another important book, Ackermann and Moore (2001), where Næss could havefound an illuminating discussion of the relation of affectedness to partitivecase and of case-marking variations of arguments of causative constructions.Perhaps if Næss has taken into account this book, she would have taken moreseriously the notion of ''incremental theme'' and its role in determiningargumenthood and argument encoding, especially with ''effected objects'' (see below).

In her criticism of the problematic notions of thematic roles, Næss, I believe,overestimates the degree to which the linguistic community considers them usefulanalytic tools. Indeed, I would conjecture that current theories of argumentlinking and the syntax-semantics interface have for the most part abandonedelementary thematic roles and operate with much more intricate notions such asfeature decompositions similar to that used by Næss, or event structurerepresentations. Again, if Næss had considered a recent valuable survey of thefield by Levin and Rappaport Hovav (2005), her claims would have had a moresolid basis. Næss cannot be accused of paying no attention to work of ''formal''linguists, which unfortunately is not uncommon among ''functional'' typologists,but a deeper knowledge of the results achieved in the field of her interestmight be useful.

Similarly, arguing that the two types of ambitransitivity - indefinite objectdeletion and causative/inchoative formation - are essentially differentphenomena, Næss, figuratively speaking, forces an open door: as far as I mayjudge, this is the commonly accepted position among linguists of both ''formal''and ''functional'' stance, and there is hardly any need to explicitly state, letalone defend it. This does not mean that the discussion on pp. 145-150, whereNæss refutes rather abstract and empirically not well-founded claims by Drossard(1998), is completely useless, but it is not correct, in my opinion, to treat aparticular paper as representative of a mythical commonly shared assumption.

Turning to more specific points, it is not always obvious that the claims Næssmakes will lead to meaningful predictions if taken to their logical end. Forinstance, she argues that under negation semantic features constitutingdifferent semantic roles change values to the negative eventually turning intoother semantic roles. Thus, for example, ''an Instrument subject -[-VOL,+INST,+AFF] - would under negation be characterized as a Patient -[-VOL,-INST,+AFF]'' (p.116). However, it is not evident how to answer a questionI consider legitimate here: Why doesn't this type of subject ever get encoded asa typical direct object under negation?

Sometimes it seems that Næss understands the notions she employs in a ratherimprecise manner. For instance, if we agree to understand ''agent affectedness''as covering such cases as ''John murdered for the money'' (p. 136), it is reallynot obvious which kinds of clauses involving an Agent would not allow for an''Affected Agent'' interpretation: indeed, one might claim that when onevolitionally instigates some action one is primarily interested not in changingthe Patient's state for its own sake, but in achieving a desirable effect foroneself. The notion of agent affectedness is useful, but in order to havetheoretical and cross-linguistic validity it has to be employed in a constrainedfashion, without being applied to broadly.

I think that the overall discussion of the distinction between affected andeffected objects in Chapter 5 is not convincing enough and should be refined infurther work. For instance, claiming that the Finnish Partitive case is used toencode the [-AFF] Objects, Næss, as it seems, predicts that effected objects ofverbs of creation should be consistently marked with the Partitive, which is notthe case in perfective clauses. It is not correct to call effected objects''non-referential'' without any qualifications; strictly speaking,''referentiality'' is not about existing in the real world, but rather about beingidentifiable as a discourse participant (cf. Lambrecht 1994, another importantbook which Næss does not quote). Further, it seems that different subclasses ofeffected object verbs should be distinguished, e.g. verbs of creation such as''build'', verbs of performance such as ''recite a poem'' or ''conduct a symphony'',and verbs of 'copying' such as ''paint (a portrait of) John''. In relation tothis, the unitary notion of ''affectedness'' perhaps should be decomposed intoseveral different notions, such as change of state and gradual change(''incremental themehood''). Næss sometimes does justice to the latter notion,with references to Tenny (1994), but I believe that it should be taken moreseriously and not equated with ''change of state as a result of a successful action''.

To sum up, Næss should have paid more attention to some specific implications ofher analysis and should have formulated them more accurately, and, again, shouldhave done more justice to the existing literature on these topics.

To conclude, the overall impression upon reading this book is two-fold: on theone hand, one has no choice but consider it a very valuable contribution to thestudy of transitivity, argument structure, and case-marking from both atheoretical and a cross-linguistic perspective; on the other hand, a readerfamiliar with much of the current research in this field and not limitingoneself to a particular approach or framework feels that this book has told himor her less than he or she had expected. Probably, the main achievement of Næssis not to have proposed an entirely novel and break-through theory oftransitivity, but to have formulated the ideas which have been stirring theminds of the linguistic community for the last three decades in such a way thata more coherent view of the field becomes possible, and, most importantly, somenon-trivial implications of these ideas could be drawn. It is these particularimplications and applications of the semantic prototype of transitivity which Iconsider to constitute the core of the contribution of this book to linguistictheory and typology.

REFERENCESAckerman, Farrell and John Moore (2001). _Proto-Properties and GrammaticalEncoding. A Correspondence Theory of Argument Selection_. Stanford CA: CSLIPublications.

Comrie, Bernard (1981). _Language Universals and Linguistic Typology_. Oxford:Blackwell.

Croft, William C. (1993). Case marking and the semantics of mental verbs. In_Semantics and the Lexicon_, ed. by James Pustejovsky. Dordrecht: Kluwer, p. 55-72.

Dixon, R.M.W. (1979). Ergativity. In _Language_ 55, 1, p. 59-138.

Dowty, David R. (1991). Thematic proto-roles and argument selection. _Language_67, 3, p. 547-619.

Drossard, Werner (1998). Labile Konstruktionen. In _Typology of VerbalCategories: Papers Presented to Vladimir Nedjalkov on the Occasion of his 70thBirthday_, ed. by Leonid Kulikov and Heinz Vater. Tübingen: Niemeyer, p. 73-84.

DuBois, John W. (1987). The discourse basis of ergativity. _Language_ 63, 4, p.805-855.

Hopper, Paul J. and Sandra A. Thompson (1980). Transitivity in grammar anddiscourse. _Language_ 56, p. 251-299.

Kemmer, Suzanne (1993). _The Middle Voice_. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Lambrecht, Knud (1994). _Information Structure and Sentence Form: Topic, Focus,and the Mental Representations of Discourse Referents_. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press.

Levin, Beth and Malka Rappaport Hovav (2005). _Argument Realization_. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.

Primus, Beatrice (1999). _Cases and Thematic Roles: Ergative, Accusative andActive_. Tübingen: Niemeyer.

Rosch, Eleanor (1978). Principles of categorization. In _Cognition andCategorization_, ed. by Eleanor Rosch and Barbara B. Lloyd. Hillsdale NJ:Erlbaum, p. 27-48.

Rozwadowska, Bozena (1988). Thematic restrictions on derived nominals. In_Syntax and Semantics 21: Thematic Relations_, ed. by Wendy Wilkins. San DiegoCA: Academic Press, p. 147-165.

Saksena, Anuradha (1980). The affected agent. _Language_ 56, 4, 812-826.

Silverstein, Michael (1976). Hierarchy of features and ergativity. In_Grammatical Categories in Australian Languages_, ed. by R.M.W. Dixon. Canberra:Australian Institute for Aboriginal Studies, p. 112-171.

Tenny, Carol (1994). _Aspectual Roles and the Syntax-Semantics Interface_.Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Testelets, Yakov (1998). On two parameters of transitivity. In _Typology ofVerbal Categories. Papers Presented to Vladimir Nedjalkov on the Occasion of his70th Birthday_, ed. by Leonid Kulikov and Heinz Vater. Tübingen: Niemeyer, p. 29-46.

ABOUT THE REVIEWERPeter M. Arkadiev, PhD in linguistics (2006), is a research fellow at theDepartment of typology and comparative linguistics of the Institute of Slavicstudies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. His main interests arelinguistic typology with focus on event and argument structure and its formalrealization, and theoretical approaches to morphology. He works mainly onLithuanian, Adyghe and Japanese.






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