The Morphosyntax of the Experiencer in Early Vedic

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This paper examines the encoding of Experiencer arguments in Early Vedic, the earliest attested stage of Indo-Aryan. Although Experiential predicates show a broad variety of case-marking patterns in this language, the Experiencer is primarily expressed by the nominative, the accusative or the dative. In this respect, this semantic role differs from other roles like Agent, Patient, Recipient or Benefactive which show a more restricted range of case-marking options. Examining the distribution of the three Experiencer constructions, I demonstrate that there is a strong tendency in Early Vedic for the Experiencer to be construed as subject with Experiential verbs, although some experiential verbs show an inverted argument realization construction, where the Stimulus is expressed as subject and the Experiencer as object. Keywords: Vedic Sanskrit; Experiencer; Proto-Roles; Argument realization; Case-marking


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