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Monday seminar: Bernard Comrie - Typology of Ditransitive Constructions

SEMINAR

Monday seminar at the Department of Swedish:

Bernard Comrie

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and
University of California Santa Barbara

Typology of Ditransitive Constructions

A ditransitive construction can be defined as a construction including an agent (A) argument, a recipient (R) argument, and a theme (T) argument, as in "Mary (A) gives a book (T) to John (R)". While some languages express corresponding content without using a three-place predicate (e.g. by using a serial verb construction), the vast majority of the world's languages have three-place predicates. Such languages present different alignment types (the relation between ditransitive and monotransitive constructions), the three main ones being indirective (T = P ≠ R), secundative (T ≠ P = R), and neutral (T = P = R), where P is the patient-like argument of a monotransitive predicate. Differences in alignment can be seen clearly in flagging (marking by case/adpositions) and verb indexing, i.e. coding properties, but a variety of other syntactic constructions are considered that provide evidence of alignment of behavioral properties, including passivization and relativization. Finally, some issues of lexical variation among ditransitive predicates will be considered, including from the perspective of semantic maps.

Date: 2010-10-25 15:15 - 17:00

Location: Lilla hörsalen, Humanisten

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