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The Structure of Words at the Interfaces$
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Heather Newell, Máire Noonan, Glyne Piggott, and Lisa deMena Travis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198778264.001.0001

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The paradoxes of Mẽbengokre’s analytic causative

The paradoxes of Mẽbengokre’s analytic causative

(p.160) 8 The paradoxes of Mẽbengokre’s analytic causative
The Structure of Words at the Interfaces

Andres Pablo Salanova

Oxford University Press

Mẽbengokre exhibits a causative construction that is constructed as an applicative, introducing a low argument without displacing the external argument from its subject function. In the typical case, this causative could be seen as an instance of the so-called sociative causative, whereby the causee is accompanied in the action by the causer, rather than being simply induced to action by the causer. These causatives can be straightforwardly analysed as comitative applicatives. However, Mẽbengokre displays the peculiarity that causatives of most verbs that involve a change of state decidedly do not get a sociative interpretation. This chapter addresses the puzzle of how a true causative semantics can arise in such cases, claiming that the applicative morpheme in these causatives has a grammatical use not unlike that of subject-reintroducing ‘by’ in English passives, and that this grammatical function is tied with a null causative morpheme that attaches only to certain verbal stems.

Keywords:   applicative, causative, comitative, , Mẽbengokre, postposition, sociative causative

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