Chapter published in:Antipassive: Typology, diachrony, and related constructions
Edited by Katarzyna Janic and Alena Witzlack-Makarevich
[Typological Studies in Language 130] 2021
► pp. 483–514
Indirect antipassive in Circassian
The article focuses on antipassive formation in Adyghe and Kabardian (Circassian < West Caucasian), polysynthetic languages with ergative alignment of basic morphosyntax. The Circassian antipassive is typologically unusual in several respects. First, it is derived not only from transitive, but also from intransitive verbs: in these cases, it eliminates the indirect object. Thus, antipassive in Circassian targets an object argument, but not necessarily the direct object, contradicting the general ergative patterning. Second, the Circassian antipassive is expressed by the change of the root-final vowel, which complicates the determination of the direction of the valency change. Third, although the Circassian antipassive mainly fulfils the semantic functions typologically associated with antipassives, sometimes the syntactic type of the argument (i.e. nominal vs. clause) is relevant for the choice of the valency frame as well.
Keywords: Circassian languages, polysynthesis, intransitive verbs, lability, applicatives
Published online: 23 March 2021
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