Forceful Contact in a Result Prominent Language


  • Ronald P Schaefer Southern Illinois University Edwardsville



Levin and Rappaport Hovav (1995) remind us that manner and result verbs often exhibit complementary distribution within a given language. They also note that when a main verb lexically specifies manner or result, the complementary component can be expressed outside the verb, in a satellite constituent of some sort. In Rappaport Hovav and Levin (2010), manner/result complementarity constrains verb root lexicalization. Building on this, Erteschik-Shir and Rapoport (2010) examine English verbs of contact, e.g. smear, splash, whose complements specify a result relation between moveable object and stationary locatum. Classically, these verbs show a locative alternation with holistic ~ partitive interpretations (Levin 1993). For this paper I examine forceful contact expressions in Emai (West Benue Congo, Edoid in Williamson and Blench 2000). Relatively strict SVO, Emai manifests little inflectional morphology and few prepositions. Its motion predications express manner and result as one verb in series with another or as verb plus postverbal particle. Lacking verbs in series or postverbal particles, forceful contact in Emai reflects simple and complex predications.

Author Biography

  • Ronald P Schaefer, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
    Distinguished Research Professor, Department of English