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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton June 27, 2014

P-lability and radical P-alignment

Denis Creissels
From the journal Linguistics

Abstract

The study of P-lability in languages in which the relationship between transitive and intransitive predication can be characterized as radical P-alignment must take into account the formal distinction between weak and strong lability, and the semantic distinction between argument structure modifying and argument structure preserving lability. Radical P-alignment is particularly common among Daghestanian languages in which some authors operating with a loose definition of P-lability have argued that P-lability is pervasive, whereas others have argued that, in the same languages, P-lability is exceptional. On the basis of more precise definitions, it is shown that, in the languages in question, all transitive verbs exhibit a behavior whose characterization as a type of lability may be controversial, depending on the definition of lability, whereas some of them only show a behavior that stands closer to prototypical lability. This paper argues that the observation of causativization is particularly relevant to the analysis of lability in such languages.

Published Online: 2014-6-27
Published in Print: 2014-7-1

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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