The Diachrony of Complex Predication
  • ISSN 0176-4225
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9714
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In Udi, most verbal lexemes are composed, in all tense-aspect-mood categories, of a light verb and an ‘initial’. It is argued here that in the first stage of this development, simplex verbs were juxtaposed with focused constituents. In the second stage, initials and verbs formed compounds, and this pattern spread beyond those that had once involved focus. In the third stage, the subject of this paper, light verbs become classifiers, classifying the verb type — inchoatives, other unaccusatives, unergatives, transitive verbs of inherently directed motion, transitive change-of-state verbs, other transitives. I argue also that the classes identified by (some of) the light verbs have not become less semantically motivated; rather the semantics has shifted from a relatively narrow meaning to one of the three major classes.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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