El causativo misumalpa (miskitu, sumu)

Ken Hale


Causative constructions in the Misumalpa family differ from more familiar constructions in that the causative head appears embedded under the verb corresponding to the "effect" of the causation. The causative verb carries a subject obviation morpheme, argued in this paper to be an indication of being structurally subordinated to a main clause. In addition, the non-causative verb shows overt agreement, a property typically restricted to main verbs. Despite these properties, several structural tests (binding, negation, tense interactions) show that causative constructions do not behave like other embedded clauses -in particular, like serial clauses-. It is argued in this paper that this apparent contradiction is due to the properties of functional morphology in headfinal languages and that the structural association of verbal constituents is different in causative and serial clauses. In particular, serial clauses are argued to be adjuncts of the main clause, while causative constructions are in complement positions and, probably, undergo (abstract) reanalysis with the main verb. Finally, the author argues that the causative interpretation (similar to the interpretation of more familiar causative constructions) is possible due to the fact that the position and the domain of the causative allow its subject to raise to a position higher than the non-causative, and that the VP is interpreted as the argument of the causative.

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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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