How can one kill someone twice in Indonesian? Causal pluralism at the syntax-semantics interface

Yosuke Sato

Abstract


This paper investigates the non-culminating, zero change-of-state construal of causative accomplishment verbs as well as its origin in Indonesian in order to shed light on the event/conceptual structure of this verb class. The paper first presents novel data illustrating that this construal is possible with an agentive subject, but not with a causer subject, thereby lending support to the Agent Control Hypothesis (Demirdache and Martin 2015), which is known to regulate the relationship between agentivity and non-culmination. The paper then addresses the question of why Indonesian exhibits this agentive-sensitive distribution of the non-culminating interpretation. This fact is argued to follow from a close interaction of Martin’s (2019) event-tokenization theory of two types of causation with the maximality requirement of the weak perfective operator (Altshuler 2014) independently developed for languages such as Thai, Hindi and Chinese. The proposed analysis receives support from time-frame adverbials and different interpretations imposed on VP complementation under aspectual predicates.

Keywords


non-culminating accomplishment verbs; event-tokenization; causal pluralism; time-frame adverbials; agent control hypothesis; agentivity

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v5i1.4657

Copyright (c) 2020 Yosuke Sato

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