LINGUIST List 29.4066

Thu Oct 18 2018

Qs: Co-occurrence of Applicative and Preposition

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 17-Oct-2018
From: Simon Musgrave <>
Subject: Co-occurrence of Applicative and Preposition
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I am posting this query on behalf of one of my PhD students. We will post a summary of responses in due course.

From existing studies of applicatives, only two Austronesian languages, Taba and Indonesian, have been documented to unexpectedly retain a preposition when an applicative affix is used to promote a previously non-core object to core.
Bowden, in his grammatical description of Taba (2001), states that it is possible for the same idea to be expressed using three possibilities. Firstly, that the third entity is introduced by a preposition, secondly that the applied object is marked by an applicative morpheme and thirdly that the applied object can be marked by an applicative morpheme and preposition, as the following examples show.

(1)a. Ahmad npun kolay
Ahmad 3SG=kill snake
‘Ahmad killed a snake.’

b. Ahmad npun kolay ada peda PREPOSITION
Ahmad 3SG=kill snake with machete
‘Ahmad killed a snake with a machete.’

c. Ahmad npunak kolay pedaAPPLICATIVE
Ahmad 3SG=kill-APPL snake machete
‘Ahmad killed a snake with a machete.’

d. Ahmad npunak kolay ada pedaBOTH
Ahmad 3SG=kill-APPL snake with machete
‘Ahmad killed a snake with a machete.’ (2001:204)

Sometimes Indonesian clauses with applicative verbs suffixed with –kan retain the preposition directly following the verb when it is expected to have been lost according to conventional grammar rules, as shown in 2.

(2)a. Yang penting saya sangat men-cinta-i Sandy
REL important 1SG very Sandy
dan meny-enang-kan atas semua ke-jadi-an itu
and meN-pity-APPL on all event that
‘What is important is that I love Sandy and regret everything that happened.’ (Musgrave 2001:156)

b. Kami juga sudah mem-bicara-kan dengan pem-erintah pusat
2PL also already meN-talk-APPL with government central
di Jakarta soal rencana men-ambah beasiswa Jerman
in Jakarta matter plan meN-increase scholarship German
untuk Indonesia…
for Indonesia
‘We have also spoken with the central government in Jakarta about the plan to increase German scholarships to Indonesia.’ (Quasthoff & Gottwald 2012: indmix_565272)

Previous studies of Indonesian have noted the co-occurrence of applicatives and prepositions and have usually made passing comments often speculating that this feature is prevalent in non-standard Indonesian.

Our query is whether any list subscribers know of other languages which show this phenomenon and has anyone written about it?

Bowden, John. 2001. Taba: Description of a South Halmahera language. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
Musgrave, Simon. 2001. Non-subject arguments in Indonesian. The University of Melbourne. (PhD thesis).
Quasthoff, Uwe & Sebastian Gottwald. 2012. Leipzig corpus collection. (Ed.) Uwe Quasthoff & Gerhard Heyer. University of Leipzig.

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Language Family(ies): Austronesian

Page Updated: 18-Oct-2018