Argument marking in Baltic and Slavonic pain-verb constructions

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Pain verbs are often mentioned in publications on non-canonical marking of grammatical relations. In this article I look at the specific features of pain-verb construction that induce such non-canonical behaviour. Various types of non-canonicity result from marking strategies such as the external-possessor construction or the ‘agent-demoting construction’ undergoing construction-specific modifications which often make it difficult to treat pain-verb constructions as routine applications of productive patterns functioning elsewhere in a language. The non-canonical behaviour of pain-verb constructions results from a specific low-transitivity configuration of experiencer and stimulus arguments standing in a whole-to-part relationship and arranged in a prominence (obliqueness) cline often disturbing the patterns of grammatical relations inherited from the source constructions.


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