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Where have all the verbs gone? On verb stretching and semi-words in Indo-Aryan Palula

  • Author(s): Liljegren, Henrik
  • et al.

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https://doi.org/10.5070/H99123044Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

The prevalence of complex predicates consisting of a verb component (verbalizer) and a non-verb component (host) is well-known from descriptions of languages in large parts of West and South Asia. Looking particularly at data from the hitherto less-studied Indo-Aryan Palula (Chitral Valley, Pakistan), we will explore their position within the total verb lexicon. Instead of regarding the verbalizers and hosts as building blocks that due to their respective properties license particular argument structures, as has been done in some previous descriptions, I propose that it is the construction as a whole, and its semantics, that assigns case and selects arguments. Rather than seeing a strict dichotomy between verbalizers (also called “light verbs”) used in complex predicates and the corresponding simple verbs, a few highly generic verbs (BECOME, DO, GIVE) seem to be exposed to a high degree of “stretching”. As such they stand as syntactic models – basic argument templates (BAT) – when forming novel complexes, sometimes involving host elements that lack a lexical identity of their own (hence semi-words) in the language as of today.

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