Chapter published in:Antipassive: Typology, diachrony, and related constructions
Edited by Katarzyna Janic and Alena Witzlack-Makarevich
[Typological Studies in Language 130] 2021
► pp. 65–96
Antipassive in the Cariban family
To date, no published reference grammar of a Cariban language has described an antipassive construction. However, all languages of the family have a cognate verbal morpheme, termed detransitivizer, which prefixes to a transitive verb to derive an intransitive verb. While monovalent, the detransitivized verb bears inflectional person morphology that is distinct from that of non-derived intransitive verbs. We collected all available text examples of detransitivized verbs from five Cariban languages (Akawaio, Hixkaryana, Kari’nja, Tiriyó, and Ye’kwana) and categorized them into formal and functional subtypes. Alongside the well-described functions of reflexive/reciprocal/middle, anticausative, and passive, we encountered a substantial number of examples that can only be characterized as antipassive: the S of the detransitivized verb corresponds to the A of the transitive verb from which it is derived and the P of the transitive verb is either absent or expressed in an oblique (locative) PP.This paper has four goals: first, we present the detransitivized construction and explain the methodology by which we identify tokens of the construction functioning as an antipassive. Second, we present the results of our text counts – a significant number of the categorizable detransitivized tokens have the antipassive function – and we discuss why this phenomenon has been overlooked until now. Third, given that the detransitivized construction is semantically polysemous, we explore the conditions under which it has an antipassive reading, identifying one pragmatic and two semantic subtypes: Nontopical P, Semantically Absent P, and Locative P. Finally, we discuss the implications of these patterns for a diachronic typology of antipassive.
Keywords: Cariban family, antipassive, detransitivizer, valence
Published online: 23 March 2021
To appear. Asymmetries in path expression in Ye’kwana. In Source and Goal (A)symmetries, Anetta Kopecka, Marine Vuillermet & Miyuki Ishibashi eds Special issue of Studies in Language
Derbyshire, Desmond C.
Fox, Desrey C.
Gawne, Lauren, Kelly, Barbara F., Berez-Kroeker, Andrea L. & Heston, Tyler
Hoff, Berend J.
Janic, Katarzyna & Witzlack-Makarevich, Alena
Meira, Sérgio, Gildea, Spike & Hoff, Berend J.
2013 Antipassive constructions. In The World Atlas of Language Structures Online, Matthew S. Dryer & Martin Haspelmath (eds). Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. http://wals.info/chapter/108> (7 March 2017).
Cited by 3 other publications
Cáceres Arandia, Natalia
Janic, Katarzyna & Alena Witzlack-Makarevich
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