Лабильные глаголы в европейских и северокавказских языках. Опыт сравнительного анализа
In the paper, the classes of labile verbs (verbs which can be transitive or intransitive without any formal changes) are analyzed on the data of European and North Caucasian languages. The main conclusion is that there is a semantic difference between classes of labile verbs in the two language groups under analysis. In European languages, predicates with low semantic transitivity are labile (for instance, motion verbs and phasal verbs), while in Caucasian languages, lability is more characteristic of verbs with high semantic transitivity (verbs of destruction and similar verb classes).
In my article, I address the factors which favor using a verb as labile (both transitive and intransitive, with no formal change required).
Haspelmath (1993) proposes that the key feature which conditions a way of marking (in)transitivity of verbs in the transitive / intransitive verb pair is the spontaneity parameter.
However, the statistical analysis of Haspelmath’s data shows that for labile / ambitransitive verb the main parameter is the lexical semantic class of the verb, not the degree of spontaneity. This lets us discover a more general principle: phenomena which are not purely grammatical, but rather lexico-grammatical (as lability) depend on lexical features, not on generalized grammatical or semantic parameters.
In the paper I consider the causative constructions in Russian. I examine the use of tense and aspect in constructions with the verbs zastavit’ / zastavljat’ ‘make’ and pozvolit’ / pozvoljat’ ‘let, allow’. I also include the verb delat’ / sdelat ‘make’ in my analysis, though this verb has special syntactic and semantic characteristics.
The striking feature of the causative constructions with eventive subjects is that the tensed forms and temporal adverbs in these constructions do not obligatorily refer to the causing situation. The tensed forms and adverbials sometimes refer only to the caused situation.
I assume that it is the nature of events vs. participants that is responsible for these distinctions. Each dynamic event is associated with some result. I have shown that in some cases what the tense of the causative verb and temporal adverbials refer to is the result of the causing event, and not the causing event in the narrow sense.
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.
The volume includes proceedings of the 23th Scandianvian Conference of Linguistics (SCL 23) that was held at Uppsala University 1–3 October 2008. It includes studies covering a wide spectrum of approaches to linguistics, for example, cross-linguistic typological studies, linguistic variation and language change in contact situations as well as studies relating to bilingualism and to second and foreign language learning.
This paper discusses the morphological and syntactic means of expression of participants in morphology and syntax of West Circassian (Adyghe) focusing on the argument vs adjunct characteristics of these means. West Circassian provide evidence for the non-discretness of the argument/adjunct contrast but also shows the necessity to distinguish between argument/adjunct properties in morphological expressions and in syntactic expressions.
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 looks into the contemporary state of the problem of decision-making and preference of some alternatives over others, discussing intransitivity of relations of superiority: one object is superior to another in a certain aspect, while the second is superior to the third and the third is superior to the first (A>B, B>C, C>A). The authors analyze two broad groups of theories and empirical studies reflecting opposite views on the nature of the relations and rationality of intransitivity of relations of superiority. The authors argue that understanding of intransitivity of superiority relations is no less important line of cognitive development than understanding of transitivity; they should be studied as complementary subjects. Thus it is necessary to study individual differences in cognitive sets with regard to transitivity/intransitivity of superiority, as well as individual characteristics of solving problems of that kind.