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Serial Verbs - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Serial Verbs

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald


In many languages of the world, a sequence of several verbs act together as one unit. These sequences—known as serial verbs—form one predicate and contain no overt marker of coordination, subordination, or syntactic dependency of any sort. Serial verbs describe what can be conceptualized as one single event. They are often pronounced as if they were one word, and tend to share subjects and objects. The whole serial verb will have one value for tense, aspect, mood, modality, and evidentiality. Their components cannot be negated or questioned separately without negating or questioning the whole ... More

Keywords: serial verbs, argument sharing, symmetrical serial verb, asymmetrical serial verb, verb compound, grammatical word, event

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780198791263
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198791263.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, author
Distinguished Professor, Australian Laureate Fellow, and Director of the Language and Culture Research Centre, James Cook University