Causative morphemes as a de-transitivizing device : What do non-canonical instances reveal about causation and causativization?

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Kittilä , S 2013 , ' Causative morphemes as a de-transitivizing device : What do non-canonical instances reveal about causation and causativization? ' , Folia Linguistica , vol. 47 , no. 1 , pp. 271–295 . https://doi.org/10.1515/flin.2013.008

Title: Causative morphemes as a de-transitivizing device : What do non-canonical instances reveal about causation and causativization?
Alternative title: Kausatiivimorfeemit de-transitivisaatiomekanismeina Mitä epätyypilliset tapaukset kertovat kausaatiosta ja kausativisaatiosta?
Author: Kittilä, Seppo
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Modern Languages 2010-2017
Date: 2013
Language: eng
Number of pages: 25
Belongs to series: Folia Linguistica
ISSN: 0165-4004
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flin.2013.008
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/250876
Abstract: Causativization is typically understood as a process that increases the valency of verbs via agent introduction. In addition, causatives have other functions, such as agentivization. Here, we examine even less orthodox functions of causative morphemes: cases in which causativization decreases the degree of transitivity associated with the denoted event – that is, the expressed function is the exact opposite of the canonical function. The expression of this function by causative morphemes becomes understandable if we consider the differences between agent-related and causer-related causation. In agent-related causation, the original clause involves no agent and agent introduction is thus complete (as in ‘the child broke the vase’). In the causer-related causation, agent introduction is less complete since the original event already involves an agent (‘I made him build a house’). The occurrence of transitivity-decreasing causatives is explained by referring to features of causer-related causation. Moreover, the article proposes a grammaticalization path for de-transitivizing causatives based on instances of causer-related causation.
Subject: 6121 Languages
causativization, causatives, agency, de-transitivization
causativization, causatives, agency, de-transitivization
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