Query on analytic causative verbs

Suzanne Kemmer kemmer at RICE.EDU
Wed Mar 28 15:09:53 UTC 2012

Hi all,

I have been queried about something I wrote a long time ago, and I did not 
document the facts well enough to easily find more examples of a particular kind. 

Does anyone know of any languages in which the causative verb in an analytic causative construction 
is a verb literally meaning 'give'?    The example I came across in fieldwork and mentioned in my
paper with Arie Verhagen is:   Luo MIYO  'give' which is used as an analytic causative verb. 

The easiest way to sum up the analytic causative construction I am talking about
is:   [  Causer    V(of causation)    Causee      V    (Patient)   ]  .

Examples include English 'I made her laugh'  and the French FAIRE causative. 

Case marking/grammatical relations of the participants  can vary across languages; word order can vary.  The second verb - the
one with the variable lexical content, which expresses a predicate of result in this construction -- may or may not be finite, and if non-finite may or may not have an infinitive marker. 

The range of meanings of the construction should include  'X made Y do something'/ 'X caused Y to do something'. 

The reason:
I am aware that some languages do not sharply distinguish 'strict causation' from 
other force dynamic configurations like allowing or ordering; such meanings are often found with such constructions as well as  'strict causation'. 
'Strict causation', which I have often been told is the only interpretation of such constructions that is typologically relevant, means causation
as logicians define it:   The caused predicate follows the causing predicate (or its associated specific action) in time;  and, supposedly, it would not have taken place had not X done something unspecified that is expressed schematically by the causing predicate.   
Since many linguists are most interested in this 'logical' causation, I wanted to make sure examples of the construction include the meaning 'make Y do'.    Not just  'let Y do', 'order Y to do' , etc.     

Thanks for any help!
Suzanne Kemmer

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