Animacy restrictions on direct objects

Ashild Naess A.Naess at LET.KUN.NL
Mon Jun 23 07:27:49 UTC 2003

Dear colleagues,

According to Gerdts (1988), the "advancement to object" operation in 
Halkomelem is in practice restricted to animate-referring NPs. That is, 
oblique objects bearing the roles of "recipient, benefactive, causal, or 
directional" may be re-cast as direct objects of a construction involving 
suffixation on the verb (what in other terms might be called an applicative 
construction), but only if the NP is question is animate (Gerdts reports 
that object advancement with inanimate nominals is "in principle" possible 
but marks an example of this with "?*").

Are you aware of other languages which impose similar restrictions on the 
position of direct object? I'm interested both in parallel examples to 
Halkomelem, where derived objects are required to be animate, and in the 
"reverse" situation, where *in*animate objects would be favoured by 
morphosyntactic operations.

Thanks in advance,

Åshild Næss

University of Nijmegen
Erasmusplein 1
6525 GG Nijmegen

+31 24 3616028

a.naess at 

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