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Lexical causatives and causative alternation in Basque

Abstract : Lexical causative alternation in Basque occurs with verbs which express a change in the form, location or psych-state of the subject. Aside from certain idiosyncrasies associated with specific roots, this kind of lexical alternation is highly regular is Basque. We encounter three main types of decomposition, all characterised by a Cause head which selects a VP that denotes a change of state or place. In one type, the verb BECOME selects and incorporates an adjective or noun, with no further overt morphology, e.g. edertu "become beautiful", handitu "become big", haurtu "become a child" (cf. eder "beautiful", handi "big", haur "child"). In the second type, the predicate GO selects an allative PostpP or adverb which inherently expresses direction, e.g. atera "go out", etxeratu "go home", hurbildu "come close" (cf. ate-ra "to (the) door", etxe-ra "to (the) house", hurbil "near"). In the third type, the same underlying verb selects a PostpP whose underlying head incorporates the head of its complement. This formation is typical of psych-causatives, e.g. ahalketu "be ashamed", beldurtu "be afraid", poztu "be happy" (cf. ahalke "shame", beldur "fear", poz "happiness"). Like English, Basque conflates the head that expresses causation, which we have called Cause, and that which bears an external argument, here called Voice.
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Submitted on : Monday, September 19, 2005 - 12:01:38 AM
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Bernard Beñat, B. Oyharçabal. Lexical causatives and causative alternation in Basque. XLVI, Universitad del pais Vasco - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, pp.223-253, 2003. ⟨artxibo-00000019⟩



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