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Beneficiaries and recipients in Toba (Guaycurú)

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Abstract

This paper examines the coding properties of benefaction in Toba, such as case marking, agreement and word order, as well as the alignment patterns in derived ditransitive clauses. Toba does not have non-derived ditransitive verbs with three obligatory arguments (agent, theme and recipient) but uses applicatives in order to incorporate more than two arguments in a clause. In clauses where the arguments appear as lexical noun phrases, the recipient or beneficiary argument of the ditransitive clause behaves as the patient of the transitive one, appearing in the same functional slot and behaving alike as to verb agreement. Only with the derived verb ‘give’ is it possible to clearly distinguish between a recipient and a recipient-beneficiary. Thus, following Kittilä’s (2005: 277) classification, Toba is a beneficiary-prominent language.

References

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