On the nature of inverse systems
The rise of inverse marking via antipassive constructions
Previous theoretical discussion about inverse systems has largely revolved around the synchronic and diachronic relationship between the inverse and the passive. In contrast, this study argues for the antipassive origins of two inverse constructions in Monsang (Trans-Himalayan), which are used for 3→SAP and 2→1 scenarios. This questions central assumptions from previous accounts about the functional motivation underlying inverse systems, and suggests that strategies of avoiding overt reference may be at play. The diachronic pathway proposed here connects the traditional inverse with other special marking patterns that involve speech act participant objects, in particular the “pseudo-inverse” construction of innovative first person object indexation.
Keywords: inverse, antipassive, hierarchical indexation, referential hierarchy, person indexation, pseudo-inverse, South-Central Trans-Himalayan, Kuki-Chin, Monsang
Published online: 04 December 2020
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