Benefactives and malefactives in Gumer (Gurage)
Gumer (West-Gurage, South Ethiosemitic) has three suffixes to mark objects on the verb: ‘primary object’, ‘benefactive’, ‘malefactive/locative/instrumental’. BEN and MAL can occur with every verb to express in a rather broad sense that the event is ‘to one’s benefit’ or ‘to one’s detriment’. BEN covers the benefactive senses ‘recipient’, ‘deputative’, and ‘plain’. Generally, BEN and MAL express non-core participants. The three suffixes are mutually exclusive: if there are two concurring objects, the most salient candidate is chosen (which usually is BEN or MAL). Overt nominals BEN are marked with <i>ye-</i>, the same prefix that marks recipients. MAL are marked with <i>ye-</i> or <i>be-</i>. A construction with a subordinate form of <i>barem</i> ‘say’ (“saying for NP”) also expresses benefactives.