Chapter 4. Valence alternations in the Tlacolula Valley Zapotec lexicon*

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This paper analyzes the formal alternations in a database of more than 150 pairs of verbs from Tlacolula Valley Zapotec (TVZ) that exhibit explicit valence alternations of several types (most commonly intransitive/ transitive, reflecting non-causative/causative or passive/active alternations) or that show the same morphological alternations as valence-alternating pairs. I consider how these verbs reflect proposed sources for such alternations in Proto-Zapotec. On the basis of these data, I conclude that such alternations are not productive in the synchronic grammar of TVZ: the very existence of a second member of a verb pair is not predictable, and the particular form it will take, or its meaning, is similarly unexpected.


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