Ya33 ‘give’ as a valency increaser in Jinghpo nuclear serialization
From benefactive to malefactive
This paper analyzes serial verb constructions in Jinghpo formed by ya33 ‘give’, arguing that it has the function of a valency–increasing device in nuclear serialization: The use of ya33 allows the licensing of an additional beneficiary argument as a core argument to the lexical verb. In a new twist, however, on the evolution of give verbs, we demonstrate that the benefactive usage is extended to malefactive semantics in a distinct, derived structure, conditioned via the expression of possession, a type of malefactive that is not well-documented in current literature on this domain.Furthermore, the existence of two distinct constructions for the benefactive and the malefactive in Jinghpo conforms to Radetzky & Smith’s claim (2010: 116) that this is an areal feature comprising the Indian subcontinent, Southeast and East Asia, and thus contrasts strongly with the conflation of both types of construction in many European languages.Finally, we propose that the nuclear type of serialization, integral to the typological profile of Jinghpo, a SOV language, is a determining factor in the reanalysis of ya33. This feature is subsequently invoked to explain why the malefactive usage of ya33 constitutes a separate development from the well-attested pathway for give verbs leading to permissive causative verbs and adversative passive markers, which, while blocked in Jinghpo, is commonly found in many other East and Southeast Asian languages with core serialization.The present analysis is based on the variety of Jinghpo spoken in Luxi County, Yunnan Province, China, using, in the main, natural discourse data collected in the field.
Keywords: malefactive, grammaticalization, passive, valency, applicatives, differential patient marking, benefactive, ‘give’ verbs
Published online: 21 July 2011
Cited by 3 other publications
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