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Complex verb formation revisited

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Abstract

This paper analyzes North Baffin Inuktitut affixal verbs as restructuring verbs. According to Wurmbrand (2001), restructuring verbs select complements of differing sizes. The sizes result in different behaviors. I show that there are three types of restructuring verbs in Inuktitut: (1) functional verbs; (2) verbs that select a thematically saturated complement; (3) verbs that select a tensed complement. The first two are also found in Nuu-chah-nulth, as discussed by Wojdak (2005). The present paper thus shows how restructuring is manifested in two polysynthetic languages. The case patterns found in the Inuktitut constructions are also discussed. We see that they are similar to patterns in other languages such as French, and they may shed light on some crosslinguistic puzzles.

References

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