Iteration of valence changing processes

Pattie Epps pepps at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Tue Mar 27 14:15:23 UTC 2012

On behalf of Stefan Müller and Stephen Wechsler.


We are working on argument structure and for being able to decide
between alternative analyses we are looking for languages that allow for
iteration of valence changing processes like passive, causativization,
middle, ...

We know of Turkish which allows for iterative causativization:

`to cause somebody to cause somebody to kill somebody'

Lewis, Geoffrey L. (1967), Turkish Grammar, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Another is passivization in Lithuanian. Timberlake claims that a
passivized clause can be passivized again.

Timberlake, Alan (1982), “The Impersonal Passive in Lithuanian", in:
Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics
Society. Berkeley: University of California, 508-524.

Then there is data from Yucatec Maya. There they have "cause to learn" =
teach, learn could be passivized and then embedded under the
causativization "He causes that the theory is being learned". And this
can be passivized again: 'The theory is being taught.' ('Somebody causes
that the theory is being learned.')

WUNDERLICH, DIETER. 1999. Prelexical syntax and the voice hypothesis.
Audiatur Vox Sapi- entiae: Festschrift for Arnim von Stechow, ed. by
Caroline Fery and Wolfgang Sternefeld, 497-523. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

However, the latter interaction between causativization and passive
turned out not to be productive. So, if you could help us with languages
that allow for such flip-flop processes this would be really great.

Thank you very much!

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