Syntax-semantics mismatches and
complex predicate formation in
Formosan languages
Henry Y. Chang
Academia Sinica
[email protected]
1
Introduction:
SVCs in Kavalan
(1)a.m-atiw=iku
m-ara
tu sunis
AF-go=1S.NOM AF-take OBL child
‘I go and bring a child back.’
b.qatiw-an-ku
m-ara ya sunis
go-PF-1S.GEN AF-take NOM child
‘I go and bring the child back.’
2
Observations and generalizations
1. Clitic pronouns on the first verb > first
verb as the matrix verb
2. The first verb can be inflected for either
AF or NAF, while the second verb can
only be inflected for AF >
(i) The second verb as dependent
(ii) Syntax-semantic mismatch: semantic
argument of the embedded verb as
matrix subject
3
The mismatches are also
found in adverbials
(2)a.paqanas-an-ku t<em>ayta ya
sulal
slow-PF-1S.GEN see<AF> NOM book
‘I read the book slowly.’
b.pataz-an-ku-ti
s<em>upas ya qRitun
often-PF-1S.G-ASP buff<AF> NOM car
‘I buffed my car often.’ (Chang 2006)
4
The mismatches are not restricted
to SVCs: Also found in Paiwan
(3)a. ku-’<in>acuvung a
ma-sengseng a
kava
1S.GEN-finish<PF> LNKAF-make
NOM clothes
‘I have finished making my clothes.’
b. ku-g<in>alu
a
k<em>im a
hung
2S.GEN-slow<PF> LNK search<AF> NOM book
‘I searched the book slowly.’ (Wu 2005)
5
Also in Mayrinax
(4)a. wah-an ’i’ m-itaal ni’ yumin ’i’ yaya
go-LF LNK AF-see GEN Yumin NOM mother
‘Yumin went to see his mother.’
b. naqaru-un-mi’ ’i’ma-bahuq ku’
situing la
finish-PF-1S.GEN AF-wash NOM clothes PART
‘I have finished washing the clothes.’
(Huang 1995: 193)
6
Also in
• Amis
• Saisiyat
• Thao
• Puyuma
(as reported in Huang (1997))
7
Research question
Why the mismatches?
8
Raising analogue?
(5) a. It seems that John is happy.
b. John seems to be happy.
(1) b. qatiw-an-ku
m-ara ya
sunis
go-PF-1S.GEN AF-take NOM child
‘I go and bring a child back.’
b’. qatiw-an-ku [VP m-ara ti] ya sunisi
9
Problems with raising analysis:
1. Unmotivated (NP-movement is case- driven)
(1) b’. qatiw-an-ku [VP m-ara ti] ya sunisi
OBL NOM
2. The matrix verbs are not of raising verbs
10
The mismatches are reminiscent of
complex predicate constructions (I)
(6)a.John ran his shoes threadbare.
b.John hammered the metal flat.
(7)a.Zhangsan ku-de shoupa
dou shi le
ZS
cry-DE handkerchief all wet ASP
‘Zhangsan cried and he made his \
handkerchief wet.’
b. Zhangsan ba shoupa
dou ku shi le
ZS
BA handkerchief all cry wet ASP
c. Zhangsan ku-shi le
shoupa
ZS
cry-wet ASP handkerchief (J. Huang 1992)
11
The mismatches are reminiscent of
complex predicate constructions (II)
(8)a.Jean les=a fait reciter a Pierre (French)
‘Jean made Pierre recite them.’
b.Maria la=fa riparare a Giovanni (Italian)
‘Maria makes Giovanni repair it.’
c.Maria lo=hizo arreglar a Juan (Spanish)
‘Maria made Juan fix it.’ (Rosen 1990:17)
12
My proposal
• Verb sequences in question as complex
predicates – two verbs act as a single predicate
• Complex predicates as argument structure
merger (Rosen 1990)
• Argument sharing provides the basis for the
merger
• As head of the clause, the first verb attract the
major grammatical markers such as TAM and
bound pronouns.
13
Complex predicate formation
in Kavalan
(1) b. qatiw-an-ku
m-ara ya
sunis
go-PF-1S.GEN AF-take NOM child
‘I go and bring the child back.’
go (Actori) + take (Actori, patient)
argument structure merger in the syntax
Complex argument structure: go-take (Actor, patient)
14
Event-sharing in Kavalan
(2)a. paqanas-an-ku t<em>ata ya
sulal
slow-PF-1S.G see<AF> NOM book
‘I read the book slowly.’
slow (eventi) +read (Actor, theme, eventi)(Kratzer 1995)
argument structure merger
Complex AS: slow-read (Actor, theme, event)
15
CPs in Tsou (1/2):
Evidence from focus harmony
(09)a. mi-’o
ahoi
bon-U
AF-1S
start(AF) eat-AF
ta
tacUmU
OBL banana
‘I start eating bananas.’
b. os-’o
ahoz-a
an-a
NAF-1S
start-PF
eat-PF
’o
tacUmU
NOM banana
‘I start eating the bananas.’ (Chang 2005)
16
CPs in Tsou (2/2):
Evidence from compounding
(10)a. mi-’o o-hoi
ta tacUmU
AF-1S eat-start(AF)OBL banana
‘I start eating bananas.’(=9a)
b. os-’o o-hoz-a
’o
tacUmU
NAF-1S eat-start-PF NOM banana
‘I start eating the bananas.’(=9b)
17
Event-sharing and CP formation
in Tsou
(11)a.mi-ta butas-o eobak-o ta oko
AF-3S violent-AF hit-AF OBL child
‘He hit a child violently.’
b.i-ta
utasv-a eobak-a ’o
oko
NAF-3S violent-PF hit-PF NOM child
‘He hit the child violently.’
18
Evidence for event-as-argument:
“Ambient serialization” in Paamese
(12)a.ko-muasi-e
0-vaa-hise
2S:REAL-hit-3S 3S:REAL-MULT-how many
‘How many times did you hit him?’
b.ni-muasi-e
he-haa-relu
1S:FUT-do-3S 3S:FUT-MULT-three
‘I will do it three times.’ (Crowley 2002:81)
19
Event-sharing in Paamese
(11)b. ni-muasi-e
he-haa-relu
1S:FUT-do-3S 3S:FUT-MULT-three
‘I will do it three times.’ (Crowley 2002:81)
Three-times (eventi) +do (agent, patient, eventi)
argument structure merger
Complex AS: do-three-times (agent, patient, event)
20
Typology of CPs
1. Resultative/biclausal (Mandarin)
2. Causative/Infinitival (French, Paiwan, M.
Atayal, Amis)
3. SVC (Kavalan, Tsou, Seediq, S. Atayal,
Saisiyat, Thao, Puyuma)
4. Verb-particle (English, German)
5. Light verb (English, Hindi-Urdu)
21
Complex predicate spectrum
biclausal
DEconstruction
Chinese
monoclausal
infinitive
secondary
predicate
Romance, English
Paiwan,
Chinese
(Amis,
M. Atayal)
SVC
light verb
Hindi-Urdu
Kwa,
Oceanic, Eng,
Chinese, Chin
Tsou,
Kavalan,
Seediq,
(W.
Atayal,
Saisiyat,
Puyuma,
Thao)
word
particle
construction
compound
Germanic,
Chinese
Chinese,
Tsou
22
Conclusions
• Complex predicate formation is very
productive in Formosan languages. It cuts
across various semantic categories
(including adverbials) and syntactic
structures (SVCs and non-SVCs).
• A possible basis for complex predicate
formation is argument sharing (including
event sharing).
23
Residual questions
(13)a.supaR-an-ku=ti=isu
tu babar-an-na
know-PF-1S.G=ASP=2S.N OBL beat-PF-3S.G
‘I knew that he beat you.’ (Kavalan)
b.kula-un-ku-su
m-<un>ekan
ido
know-PF-1S.N-2S.G AF-<PERF>eat rice
‘You know that I ate rice.’ (Seediq, Chang 1997:74)
c.k<in>elang ni kui ti
kai tu
know<PF> G Kui NOM Kai
na-v<en>eLi
tua kun
PERF-buy<AF> OBL skirt
‘Kui knew that Kai bought a skirt.’ (Paiwan, Tang 1999:536)
24
Selected references
Brill, Isabelle. 2004. Complex predicates in Oceanic languages. Mouton de Gruyter.
Chang, Henry Y. 2005. Focus harmony and restructuring in Tsou. Paper presented at
AFLA12, UCLA, April 30-May 2.
___. 2006. The guest playing host: Adverbial modifiers as matrix verbs in Kavalan.
Clausal structure and adjuncts in Austronesian languages. ed. by Hans-Martin
Gartner, Paul Law, and Joachim Sabel, 43-82. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Crowley, Terry T. 2002. Serial Verbs in Oceanic: a descriptive typology. Oxford
University Press.
Huang, James C.-T. 1992. Complex predicates in control. Control and grammar, ed.
by R.K. Larson, S. Iatridou, U. Lahiri and J. Higginbotham, pp. 109-147, Kluwer
Academic Publishers.
Huang, Lillian M. 1995. A study of Mayrinax syntax. Taipei: the Crane Publishing Co.
____. 1997. Serial verb constructions. Paper presented at the Eighth International
Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, Dec. 28-30.
Kratzer, Angelika. 1995. Stage-level and individual-level predicates. The generic book, ed.
by Gregory N. Carlson and Francis Jeffry Pelletier, 125-175, Chicago: the Chicago
Press.
Rosen, Sara Thomas. 1990. Argument structure and complex predicates. New York:
Garland Publishing.
25
Acknowledgements
• Acadmia Sinica and NSC for financial
support
• Informants for providing linguistic data
• Isabelle Bril for sharing her ideas with me
• Students at my Formosan syntax seminar
at Tsing Hua for discussions of various
relevant issues with me
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Complex predicates in some Formosan languages