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Journal Articles Linguistique et Langues Africaines Year : 2022

The noncausal/causal alternation in Muher (Ethiosemitic)

Abstract

The paper is concerned with noncausal/causal verb pairs in Muher-a little-known South Ethiosemitic language of the so-called Gunnän Gurage in Ethiopia. Muher is a morphologically complex language, characterized by nonconcatenative verb morphology and the use of prefixes in combination with template changes to derive verbs. The study is based on a dataset of the Muher equivalents for the verb pairs in Haspelmath (1993). Muher uses several strategies to mark the noncausal/causal alternation, whereby directed pairs dominate. Within these pairs, a causal verb is more often derived than a noncausal verb. Non-directed pairs, i.e., equipollent, labile and suppletive verb pairs, are also attested, but are less frequent. Moreover, for five of the original items in the list, Muher has no pairs, i.e., one verb only occurs in the noncausal form while four verbs lack a noncausal counterpart. These four verbs, as well as most of the other verbs in the list with a human subject, make use of a morphosyntactic construction, the impersonal, to express an event in which the patientive object is foregrounded.
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Dates and versions

hal-03718676 , version 1 (09-07-2022)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-03718676 , version 1

Cite

Ronny Meyer. The noncausal/causal alternation in Muher (Ethiosemitic). Linguistique et Langues Africaines, In press. ⟨hal-03718676⟩
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