Argument structure and grammatical relations. A cross-linguistic typology
This book is a collection of articles dealing with various aspects of grammatical relations and argument structure in the languages of Europe and North and Central Asia (LENCA). Topics covered with respect to individual languages are: split-intransitivity (Basque), causativization (Agul), transitives and causatives (Korean and Japanese), aspectual domain and quantification (Finnish and Udmurt), head-marking principles (Athabaskan languages), and pragmatics (Eastern Khanty and Xibe). Typology of argument-structure properties of ‘give’ (LENCA), typology of agreement systems, asymmetry in argument structure, typology of the Amdo Sprachbund, spatial realtors (Northeastern Turkic), core argument patterns (languages of Northern California), and typology of grammatical relations (LENCA) are the topics of articles based on cross-linguistic data. The broad empirical sweep and the fine-tuned theoretical analysis highlight the central role of argument structure and grammatical relations with respect to a plethora of linguistic phenomena.
The paper considers morphology, morphosyntax and semantics of causative formation in Agul, a Lezgic language of Southern Daghestan (Russia). In Agul, the two most frequent causative patterns, periphrastic and compound causatives, apparently share one source of grammaticalization. The former are combinations of ‘do’ with the infinitive of the lexical verb, while the latter put them together as two bound stems. However, semantically 'do'-compounds belong with non-productive causatives (labile verbs and lexical causatives) and are opposed to fully productive periphrastic causatives. All non-productive causatives – only available for intransitive verbs – have parallel periphrastic ‘do’-causatives, the distinction between the parallel forms conveys the semantic contrast of direct vs. indirect causation. The paper makes an attempt at decomposing these typological categories into simpler components (intentionality, physical interaction, event structure), and provides a detailed semantic analysis of labile verbs and semantically irregular causatives. Periphrastic causatives are peculiar in their own way: they may introduce locative or ergative Causee, the choice depending on the degree of the Causee's control over the caused situation. Basing on this morphosyntactic variability, we argue that periphrastic causatives are intermediate between bi- and monoclausal constructions.