Morphological causatives in contemporary Latvian

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This paper investigates Latvian verbs with causative morphology and their relations to non-causative verbs. Causative morphology comprises vowel alternation and suffixation. The different techniques are largely synonymous, but differ in frequency and productivity. A major concern of this paper is to determine which kinds of base verbs have corresponding morphological causatives and how the argument structure of a causative verb can be linked to that of the base verb. The great majority of Latvian morphological causatives represent the causative prototype: they are systematically related to patientive intransitive verbs whose single argument corresponds to the direct object of the causative construction. Variations to this pattern are found with causatives based on intransitive verbs whose primary argument is an Agent, Experiencer, or Theme. Morphological causatives related to transitive base verbs are rare and predominantly used in monotransitive constructions. In general, causatives with all kind of bases tend to be used in the basic transitive construction of Latvian with one direct object in the accusative, and possibly peripheral arguments marked with the locative or a preposition.


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