Article published in:Argument Realisation in Complex Predicates and Complex Events: Verb-verb constructions at the syntax-semantic interface
Edited by Brian Nolan and Elke Diedrichsen
[Studies in Language Companion Series 180] 2017
► pp. 191–211
Complex predication in three dialects of Australia’s Western Desert
This chapter looks at complex predicates in three dialects of Australia’s Western Desert, Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra. Complex predication involving syntactic and morphological structures as well as internally complex lexical items are analysed within the functional framework of Role and Reference Grammar (RRG). Based on evidence from written sources, the dialects are found to have both verb compounding and serial verb constructions; complexes may represent a single composite action or a sequence of related actions. Elements in a complex can serve as light verbs, providing tense, aspect or causation to the complex. Nominals may serve as the arguments of one predicate, or as the arguments of the complex predicate as a whole. Furthermore, they may become fused with verbs to provide semantic narrowing. There is productive derivational morphology; derived lexical items and simple lexical predicates can be shown to be internally complex.
Keywords: Western Desert, Australian languages, complex predication
Published online: 26 January 2017
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