Causatives in Agul

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The paper considers morphology, morphosyntax and semantics of causative formation in Agul, a Lezgic language of Southern Daghestan (Russia). In Agul, the two most frequent causative patterns, periphrastic and compound causatives, apparently share one source of grammaticalization. The former are combinations of ‘do’ with the infinitive of the lexical verb, while the latter put them together as two bound stems. However, semantically ‘do’-compounds belong with nonproductive causatives (labile verbs and lexical causatives) and are opposed to fully productive periphrastic causatives. All non-productive causatives – only available for intransitive verbs – have parallel periphrastic ‘do’-causatives, the distinction between the parallel forms conveys the semantic contrast of direct vs. indirect causation. The paper makes an attempt at decomposing these typological categories into simpler components (intentionality, physical interaction, event structure), and provides a detailed semantic analysis of labile verbs and semantically irregular causatives. Periphrastic causatives are peculiar in their own way: they may introduce locative or ergative Causee, the choice depending on the degree of the Causee’s control over the caused situation. Basing on this morphosyntactic variability, we argue that periphrastic causatives are intermediate between bi- and monoclausal constructions.


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