Minangkabau -i: A locative, transitivizing, iterative, adversative suffix

Catherine R Fortin, Daniel Brodkin


Minangkabau, a Malayo-Polynesian (Austronesian) language of Sumatra, displays a small but complicated system of verbal morphology resembling those of its near, better-described relatives Indonesian and Malay. In these languages, the verbal morphemes are multifunctional, and fully characterizing their meanings and uses has proven challenging. We present our findings on -i, which previous literature frequently characterizes as a type of applicative. We identify four distinct productive functions of -i, not all applicative: adding a locative object, transitivizing non-verbal roots, adding iterative/intensive aspects, and imputing adversative readings. Adversative -i has not previously been identified in the literature, and is unattested in Indonesian.


Minangkabau; Indonesian; Malay; Austronesian; morphology; applicative; valency; locative; adversative

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v2i0.4098

Copyright (c) 2017 Catherine R Fortin, Daniel Brodkin

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