Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Despite the ongoing interest in reciprocal situations, which form a central part of our social, intellectual, and moral lives, and the linguistic encoding of such situations in different languages, studies of reciprocals in Papuan languages remain underrepresented in the reciprocal literature. The Trans New Guinea languages Mian, Amele, and Hua have a reciprocal construction in which the reciprocal subevents are expressed by individual transitive verbs plus an existential verb expressing that the reciprocal action is done together. Mian goes one step further and fuses this construction into a single verb with a reciprocal suffix -sese. The present paper is an in-depth analysis of the morphology, syntax, and semantics of reciprocal constructions in Mian, including a comparison with Amele, and an analysis of the diachronic development of the Mian reciprocal, whose origin presumably lies in a biclausal description in which the reciprocal subevents are spelled out separately and sequentially.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Amele; Mian; Reciprocals; Trans New Guinea; transitivity
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