This volume of new work explores the forms and functions of serial verbs. The introduction sets out the cross-linguistic parameters of variation, and the final chapter draws out a set of conclusions. These frame fourteen explorations of serial verb constructions and similar structures in languages from Asia, Africa, North, Central and South America, and the Pacific. Chapters on well-known languages such as Cantonese and Thai are set alongside the languages of small hunter-gathererand slash-and-burn agriculturalist groups.A serial verb construction (sometimes just called serial verb) is a sequence of verbs which acts together as one. Each describes what can be conceptualized as a single event. They are monoclausal; their intonational properties are those of a monoverbal clause; they generally have just one tense, aspect, mood, and polarity value; and they are an important tool in cognitive packaging of events. Serial verb constructions are a pervasive feature of isolating languages of Asia and West Africa, andare also found in the languages of the Pacific, South, Central and North America, most of them endangered.Serial verbs have been a subject of interest among linguists for some time. This outstanding book is the first to study the phenomenon across languages of different typological and genetic profiles. The authors, all experienced linguistic fieldworkers, follow a unified typological approach and avoid formalisms. The book will interest students, at graduate level and above, of syntax, typology, language universals, information structure, and language contact. in departments of linguistics andanthroplogy.
Language Arts & Disciplines by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
This book provides an in-depth typological account of the forms, functions, and histories of serial verb constructions. Serial verbs, in which several verbs combine to form a single predicate, describe what is conceptualized as a single event. The verbs in the construction have the same tense, aspect, mood, modality, and evidentiality values, cannot be negated or questioned separately, and usually share the same subject and object. They are a powerful means of portraying various facets of one event, and can express grammatical meanings such as aspect, direction, and causation, particularly in languages where few other means are available. In this volume, Alexandra Aikhenvald seeks to answer unresolved questions such as: What are the parameters of variation in serial verbs? How do serial verbs differ from other, superficially similar multi-verb constructions? How do serial verbs emerge, and what happens to them over time? What role do they play in the representation of event structure? The book uses an inductively-based framework for the analysis and draws on data from languages with different typological profiles and genetic affiliations. It will be of interest to researchers and students from a wide range of fields of linguistics, especially typology, anthropological linguistics, and language contact.
Language and languages by Berkeley Linguistics Society