[Lingtyp] Applicative and preposition

Simon Musgrave simon.musgrave at monash.edu
Wed Oct 17 05:15:47 UTC 2018

Dear Lingtyp members,

I am posting this query on behalf of one of my PhD students. We will post a
summary of responses in due course.

>From existing studies of applicatives, only two Austronesian languages,
Taba and Indonesian, have been documented to unexpectedly retain a
preposition when an applicative affix is used to promote a previously
non-core object to core.
Bowden, in his grammatical description of Taba (2001), states that it is
possible for the same idea to be expressed using three possibilities.
Firstly, that the third entity is introduced by a preposition, secondly
that the applied object is marked by an applicative morpheme and thirdly
that the applied object can be marked by an applicative morpheme and
preposition, as the following examples show.

(1)a.    Ahmad    npun    kolay
    Ahmad    3SG=kill    snake
    ‘Ahmad killed a snake.’

b.    Ahmad    npun    kolay    ada    peda    PREPOSITION
    Ahmad    3SG=kill    snake    with    machete
    ‘Ahmad killed a snake with a machete.’

c.    Ahmad    npunak    kolay    peda    APPLICATIVE
    Ahmad    3SG=kill-APPL    snake    machete
    ‘Ahmad killed a snake with a machete.’

    d.    Ahmad    npunak    kolay    ada    peda    BOTH
    Ahmad    3SG=kill-APPL    snake    with    machete
    ‘Ahmad killed a snake with a machete.’    (2001:204)

Sometimes Indonesian clauses with applicative verbs suffixed with –kan
retain the preposition directly following the verb when it is expected to
have been lost according to conventional grammar rules, as shown in 2.

(2)a.    Yang    penting    saya    sangat    men-cinta-i    Sandy
    REL    important    1SG    very    meN.love.APPL    Sandy
    dan     meny-enang-kan    atas    semua    ke-jadi-an    itu
    and    meN-pity-APPL    on    all    event    that
    ‘What is important is that I love Sandy and regret everything that
happened.’     (Musgrave 2001:156)

    b.    Kami    juga    sudah    mem-bicara-kan    dengan     pem-erintah
    2PL    also    already    meN-talk-APPL    with    government    central
    di     Jakarta    soal    rencana    men-ambah    beasiswa    Jerman
    in    Jakarta    matter    plan    meN-increase    scholarship    German
    untuk    Indonesia…
    for    Indonesia
    ‘We have also spoken with the central government in Jakarta about the
plan to increase German scholarships to Indonesia.’      (Quasthoff &
Gottwald 2012: indmix_565272)

Previous studies of Indonesian have noted the co-occurrence of applicatives
and prepositions and have usually made passing comments often speculating
that this feature is prevalent in non-standard Indonesian.

Our query is whether any list subscribers know of other languages which
show this phenomenon and has anyone written about it?

Thanks in advance for any information which you can share!

Best, Simon

Bowden, John. 2001. Taba: Description of a South Halmahera language.
Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
Musgrave, Simon. 2001. Non-subject arguments in Indonesian. The University
of Melbourne. (PhD thesis).
Quasthoff, Uwe & Sebastian Gottwald. 2012. Leipzig corpus collection. (Ed.)
Uwe Quasthoff & Gerhard Heyer. University of Leipzig.


*Simon Musgrave  *

*School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics*
Monash University
VIC 3800

T: +61 3 9905 8234
E: simon.musgrave at monash.edu <name.surname at monash.edu>

Secretary, Australasian Association for the Digital Humanities (aaDH

Official page <http://profiles.arts.monash.edu.au/simon-musgrave/>

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