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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Resultatives, Derived Statives, and Lexical Semantic Structure Add Dissertation
Author: Eric Jackson Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 2005
Linguistic Subfield(s): Morphology; Semantics;
Subject Language(s): English
Tohono O'odham
Director(s): Henning Andersen
Pamela Munro
Carson Schütze
Daniel Büring

Abstract: The hypothesis that the meanings of words in natural language have structure has been debated among linguists for over three decades. This dissertation examines two resultative suffixes in Pima (Tepiman, Southern Uto-Aztecan), referred to as the passive resultative and the possessive resultative, whose properties are relevant for this debate. The interpretations which these two resultatives receive support one type of structure within the meanings of certain verbs.

The passive resultative suffix –s is canonically interpreted as a resultative proper; verbs with this suffix typically express the condition which results from an event of the type denoted by the unsuffixed verb. Certain verbs with this suffix, however, receive a derived stative interpretation, where the condition which they express need not be the result of any event at all. Other verbs with this suffix receive a perfect interpretation; their meaning is solely that an event of some type has occurred. Resultative-suffixed verbs with these interpretations all lack as an argument the agent which occurs as subject of the base verb. Where the base does not take an agent, however, the suffixed form receives one of three other interpretations and the argument structure of base and resultative appears identical. The possessive resultative suffix –kc, in
contrast, has a more restricted distribution; verbs with this suffix receive either a resultative or derived stative interpretation, where the subject of the suffixed verb is responsible for maintaining this condition.

While several analyses of the Pima resultatives are considered here, the most economical analysis of the distribution of interpretations which Pima resultatives receive involves monotonically adding semantic components in order to build the meaning of both eventive verbs and resultatives. This analyis is presented within the framework of Distributed Morphology, where the semantic components of these verbs are associated with a number of abstract syntactic elements. Since these resultatives are temporally stative, an introductory chapter explores what temporal stativity is and what it indicates about a predicate; another introductory chapter discusses published analyses of resultatives in Chichewa and German, which show several quite different ways that a morphologically and semantically derived predicate may be given this property.