[Lingtyp] In the absence of 'X' (something or someone)...

Jesus Francisco Olguin Martinez olguinmartinez at ucsb.edu
Thu Dec 1 01:48:53 UTC 2022

Dear all,

I am currently exploring a construction similar to the following English

*1. I**f it hadn’t been for his help, I wouldn’t have managed it.*
2. *If it hadn‘t been for that accident, we wouldn’t have met.*

And similar to the following Spanish examples:

3. *De no ser por su ayuda*, *yo no habría estado aquí contigo*!
4. *Si no hubiera sido por su ayuda*, *yo no habría estado aquí contigo*!
5.* Sin su ayuda*, y*o no habría estado aquí contigo*!

These constructions seem to involve counterfactuality and also a privative
'without' meaning:

* In the absence of  'X' (something or someone), 'Y' would not have
occurred (but it did).

 Languages may express this meaning with:
- a conditional structure,
- a privative structure,
- and others may use either a conditional structure or a
privative 'without' structure.

I was wondering if you know any studies that have explored this type of

Many thanks in advance.


Jesús Olguín Martínez
Ph.D, Dept. of Linguistics
*University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)*
Home - Jesús Olguín (jesusolguinmartinez.com)

Olguín Martínez, Jesús. 2022. *Temporal adverbial clauses in the languages
of the world: Clause-linking strategies*. Ph.D. dissertation, University of
California, Santa Barbara.

Recent publications:
Olguín Martínez, Jesús & Alonso Vásquez. 2022. The contribution of
Amazonian languages to the typology of purpose clauses. *LIAMES: Línguas
Indígenas Americanas* 22. 1-21
Olguín Martínez, Jesús. 2022. Contact-induced language change: The case of
Mixtec adverbial clauses. *Journal of Language Contact. Evolution of
Languages, Contact and Discourse* 15. 1-70.
Olguín Martínez, Jesús & Nicholas Lester.  2021. A quantitative analysis of
counterfactual conditionals in the world’s languages. *Italian Journal of
Linguistics 33*. 147-182.
Olguín Martínez, Jesús. 2021. ‘As if’ constructions in world-wide
perspective. *Journal Linguistic typology at the crossroads* 1. 2-33.
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