Edited by Brian Nolan and Elke Diedrichsen
[Studies in Language Companion Series 180] 2017
► pp. 278–304
In Tepehua (Totonacan, Mexico), verb-verb constructions are of two kinds: verb-verb compounds and verb-as-operator constructions. In verb-verb compounds, the second verb is the head of the construction and the two verbs may or may not be separated by inflection. These compounds parallel adverb-incorporation constructions and are subject to a constraint: if the first verb is transitive, the second verb must also be formally transitive, even if its semantic contribution is intransitive. Beyond this transitivity constraint, verb selection is only restricted by pragmatics. In the verb-as-operator constructions, the head verb is the first member of the construction, the modifying verb is a member of a closed class, and it may not be separated from the head verb by inflection. In some instances, the second verb functions as an operator specifying aspect or position. The complex predicate construction has made it possible for what was historically a verb root, tʃuqu, to become a very common productive suffix in Tepehua.