Case marking in some Dravidian languages

Fri Dec 28 04:42:59 UTC 2001

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> My guess is that in the first, the focus of causation is 'me' -- that is
> the sentence would read "He made me eat the biscuit". In the second, the
> focus of causation is 'the biscuit' -- that is the sentence would read "He
> got the biscuit eaten through the agency of me". But I'd like to hear what
> native speakers or linguists working on these languages say about it. Could
> you send us a summary of the replies, please?
> Gail Coelho

In Telugu, a double accusative construction marks the former and one
with the instrumental (not comitative) the latter.

Morphologically causative verbs with a dative argument is lexically
marked ditransitives.
1) anti-reflexive verbs: ex. to feed vs to eat i.e. to feed oneself. But
Telugu tinip-incu does not have the Kannada usage. toDig-incu 'to put
shoes or trousers on some one' may be ok?
2) causative of so called Dative Subject verbs: to show vs. to appear.
It may be the other way round. Some DSCs can be viewd as an unaccusative
counterpart of the ditransitive construction above with the original
agent/causer suppressed.

The two above are not mutually exclusive. To show also contrasts with to
see ie. to show oneself. But not all lexically reflexive verbs show this
tripartite system.

I am also interested in the summary.

N. Kodama
Kumamoto University
kodama at

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