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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton October 16, 2014

A rare type of benefactive construction: Evidence from Enets

Olesya Khanina and Andrey Shluinsky
From the journal Linguistics


Together with other Northern Samoyedic languages, Enets shows a crosslinguistically unusual way of expressing benefactive semantics. The Enets benefactive construction consists of a specific “destinative” affix that marks the presence of a beneficiary in a given clause and of a possessive affix that marks the beneficiary itself. Both affixes are attached to one of the verb's arguments. This makes the beneficiary encoded as an adnominal dependent of the verb's argument.

This paper has two goals. Firstly, a detailed description of the Enets benefactive construction is provided, including its morphology, morphosyntax, and peculiarities of the differential object marking. Secondly, we aim to establish crosslinguistic parallels with the Enets benefactive construction. While phenomena with similar semantic features have been attested in the world's languages, we show that the Enets construction demonstrates a unique set of semantic and morphosyntactic properties.

Published Online: 2014-10-16
Published in Print: 2014-11-1

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Munich/Boston