Chapter published in:Verb Valency Changes: Theoretical and typological perspectives
Edited by Albert Álvarez González and Ia Navarro
[Typological Studies in Language 120] 2017
► pp. 258–284
Arabic ‘labile verbs’ in form III
Lability or something else?
The article discusses labile (also known as ambitransitive) verbs in literary Arabic. I show that, though Arabic does not have a rich system of labile verbs, some existing cases of lability (labile verbs of form III) are particularly interesting from the typological point of view. Their unusual property is that the opposition between semantically causative vs. non-causative uses (and number of syntactic arguments) do not always correlate with syntactic (in)transitivity. Verbs of form III have both possible types of non-standard uses: transitive non-causative and intransitive causative uses, as well as the two standard uses (transitive causative and intransitive non-causative uses). I link this non-standard type of lability to some general features of voice and transitivity in Arabic. At the end of the article, some cases of lability outside form III are discussed.
Published online: 30 September 2017
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Cited by 1 other publications
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