Chapter 13. Indirect object ‘lowering’ in San Bartolomé Zoogocho Zapotec

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San Barolomé Zoogocho Zapotec employs possession as one of the primary productive means of decreasing the number of syntactic arguments in a clause. In particular, we will examine cases where a recipient or benefactive is expressed as the possessor of a direct object (indirect object ‘lowering’ as described by Croft 1985) and where what otherwise would be considered a subject is expressed as the possessor of a direct object (the Covert Subject Construction, Avelino et al. 2004). Using data from Croft (1985) and Lehmann (1999) for Mayan languages in addition to the data from San Bartolomé Zoogocho Zapotec, this paper provides evidence for the importance of possession in syntactic means of altering argument structure in Mesoamerican languages in particular.


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