Causatives, anticausatives and lexicalization

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Moroccan Arabic has many transitive verbs that are causative in form and meaning but lack intransitive variants that are non-causative in form and meaning. Instead, the non-causative intransitive use of these verbs requires morphosyntactic derivation by anticausativization. This article explores the hypothesis that the causative verbs in question may not derive from abstract roots via non-attested non-causative forms, but rather, from lexicalizations with a fossilized causative form. Moreover, they appear to be the manifestation of a broader typological tendency that invites alignment with detransitivizing languages, which lexicalize transitive forms and derive intransitive variants by anticausativization (Nichols et al. 2004).


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