Although one- and two-participant events, as expressed by intransitive and transitive constructions, have been extensively studied from a crosslinguistic perspective, little work has been done on three-participant events and the ways they operate in different languages. Where there is description and analysis it is typically confined to syntactic three-place predicates ignoring functional equivalent constructions in languages where such events may be realized with other argument configurations. Also, where analysis exists, it is typically limited to those three-participant events that get lexicalized as three-place predicates in English and other well-known languages. In this article, we explore the semantic categories of three-participant events and outline a range of different strategies for coding them crosslinguistically. We show that, as alternatives to syntactic three-place strategies, there are a variety of constructions that are syntactically two-place but express a third participant by some other means — morphological, syntactic, or pragmatic.
© Walter de Gruyter