8. Reciprocal constructions in Mah Meri

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This paper provides an account of reciprocal constructions in Mah Meri, an Aslian (Austroasiatic) language spoken in peninsular Malaysia. A brief outline of the relevant grammatical points is provided before turning to examine the two constructions identified. The ‘bare conjunct’ construction centres on a small class of ‘naturally reciprocal’ verbs where the participants are encoded as a single NP. The typologically unique ‘double distributive’ construction is used with all other semantically appropriate verbs and encodes the two participants separately, but with the same form. It emerges that in Mah Meri reciprocal constructions are only used for situations of strict reciprocity where the event is symmetrical, constant, and saturated


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