15. Reciprocal-marked and marked reciprocal events in Kuuk Thaayorre

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Kuuk Thaayorre has a single dedicated reciprocal marker, the verbal suffix -rr. There are, however, a number of alternative strategies for encoding semantically reciprocal events. This chapter outlines the five constructions that may overtly signal reciprocity in an event and explores which features of reciprocal events motivate the choice between these alternative encoding strategies. It also emphasises the role of non-reciprocal clauses as a valid means of encoding reciprocal event types. I propose that event typicality is a critical factor in determining whether speakers employ a reciprocal or non-reciprocal construction in describing these events. Where the event described approaches the prototype for the verb in question, overt reciprocal coding is usually omitted. Where the event described is atypical of the events usually described by that verb, overt reciprocal coding is strongly preferred.


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