9. The coding of reciprocal events in Jahai

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This work explores the linguistic encoding of reciprocal events in Jahai (Aslian, Mon-Khmer, Malay Peninsula) on the basis of linguistic descriptions of the video stimuli of the ‘Reciprocal constructions and situation type’ task (Evans et al. 2004). Reciprocal situation types find expression in three different constructions: distributive verb forms, reciprocal verb forms, and adjunct phrases containing a body part noun. Distributives represent the dominant strategy, reciprocal forms and body part adjuncts being highly restricted across event types and consultants. The distributive and reciprocal morphemes manifest intricate morphological processes typical of Aslian languages. The paper also addresses some analytical problems raised by the data, such as structural ambiguity and restrictions on derivation, as well as individual variation.


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