Transitivity prominence in typological perspective: the case of Basque

Denis Creissels


This article contributes to the typological profile of Basque by discussing its status with respect to the parameter of transitivity prominence, i.e. the extent to which it makes use of transitive coding to encode events that are not prototypically transitive. The article is based on a questionnaire of 30 verb meanings specially designed to investigate the crosslinguistic variation in transitivity prominence. The main conclusion is that the relatively low degree of transitivity prominence found in Basque sharply contrasts with the situation of its Romance neighbors. However, in a typological perspective, the situation of Basque in this respect is similar to that observed in some Indo-European languages such as Russian, and cannot be compared to the extremely low degree of transitivity prominence observed in some Caucasian languages.

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ASJU  Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca "Julio de Urquijo"

ISSN: 0582-6152  |  e-ISSN: 2444-2992

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