Argument realization in Latvian action nominal constructions

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This paper presents a study of the Latvian action noun derived by the suffix -šan-. The formation is completely regular, general and productive, and unlike other nouns may include affixes that express verbal categories (negation, aktionsart, voice). The focus of the study is on the realization of arguments in constructions with this action noun. The main option is for arguments corresponding to S, P, and A of the base verb to be expressed as prenominal genitives. In the typological literature Latvian has therefore been classified as representing the Double-Possessive type. The study of a large number of action nominal constructions in corpora and selected texts however revealed that the Double-Possessive construction is very rare and occurs only in certain genres of written language. Nominalizations of transitive verbs as a rule appear with a complement expressing P, while nominalizations of intransitive verbs often have a complement expressing S. The expression of A is generally avoided with this action noun, though not with other types of event nouns. In nominalizations of verbs with non-canonical argument marking, nominative, genitive and accusative arguments of the verb may be genitivized, while the expression of dative experiencers and possessors is possible only when the other argument is foregrounded (such as when patikt expresses ‘please’, but not ‘like’).


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