This paper discusses a typologically peculiar inverse-like construction found in the polysynthetic ergative Circassian languages of the Northwest-Caucasian family. These languages possess a cislocative verbal prefix, which, in addition to marking the spatial meaning of speaker-orientation, systematically occurs in polyvalent verbs when the object outranks the subject on the person hierarchy. The inverse-like use of the cislocative in Circassian differs from the “canonical” direct-inverse system in that, first, it is fully redundant since the person-role linking is achieved by means of the person markers themselves and, second, it does not occur in the basic transitive construction, featuring instead in configurations involving an indirect object both in ditransitive and bivalent intransitive verbs. It is argued that the typologically outstanding properties of the Circassian inverse-like marking can be naturally explained by its diachronic origin.
Critically reviewing the recent analysis of the distinction between the so-called “absolute” and “annexed” “states” in Kabyle (Berber) by (M&F), it is shown that it does not fare better than the existing treatments in its account of the empirical facts, mainly due to the assumption of monosemy. It is further argued that M&F’s rejection of “case” as a valid notion for the description of the Kabyle data rests on simplistic and ill-informed views on the nature of case, and that adoption of a case analysis allows one to compare the Berber data to a wide range of languages with similar peculiarities in the distribution of dependent marking. Finally, M&F’s claim that their analysis of Kabyle has pointed out a “previously unrecognized typological category” is refuted, showing that it stems from an unwarranted mixing of language-particular descriptive categories and crosslinguistic comparative concepts.
This article offers an analysis of the morphosyntactic properties of Lithuanian participles in terms of the criteria of “canonical” finiteness proposed by (Nikolaeva, Irina. 2013. Unpacking finiteness. In Dunstan Brown, Marina Chumakina & Greville G. Corbett (eds.), Canonical morphology and syntax, 99–122. Oxford: Oxford University Press.). It is shown that in their different uses, i. e., as heads of two types of evidential clauses, as predicates in complement, adverbial and attributive clauses and as lexical verbs in periphrastic constructions, Lithuanian participles show considerably different combinations of finite and nonfinite characteristics and hence cannot be unequivocally treated as nonfinite. It is argued that it is the individual constructions where the participles occur that determine their morphosyntactic features and that the very notion of (non)finiteness is composite and largely derivative.