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Complex Predicates
Cross-linguistic Perspectives on Event Structure


Mengistu Amberber, Brett Baker, Mark Harvey, Miriam Butt, William A. Foley, Nerida Jarkey, Keren Rice, Mary Laughren, Rachel Nordlinger, Azeb Amha
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  • Date Published: April 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521886673

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About the Authors
  • Complex predicates are multipredicational, but monoclausal structures. They have proven problematic for linguistic theory, particularly for proposed distinctions between the lexicon, morphology, and syntax. This volume focuses on the mapping from morphosyntactic structures to event structure, and in particular the constraints on possible mappings. The volume showcases the 'coverb construction', a complex predicate construction which, though widespread, has received little attention in the literature. The coverb construction contrasts with more familiar serial verb constructions. The coverb construction generally maps only to event structures like those of monomorphemic verbs, whereas serial verb constructions map to a range of event structures differing from those of monomorphemic verbs. The volume coverage is truly cross-linguistic, including languages from Australia, Papua New Guinea, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, East Africa and North America. The volume establishes a new arena of research in event structure, syntax, and cross-linguistic typology.

    • Includes extensive cross-linguistic data, providing readers with a sound database for testing and development of theories
    • Provides readers with specific data predictions to confirm that certain classes of data will not occur and therefore develop practical knowledge of the subject
    • Examines data from a wide range of theoretical perspectives, allowing readers to compare predictive power and scope of theories
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521886673
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 159 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: complex predicates Mengistu Amberber, Brett Baker and Mark Harvey
    2. Complex predicate formation Brett Baker and Mark Harvey
    3. The light verb jungle: still hacking away Miriam Butt
    4. Events and serial verb constructions William A. Foley
    5. Cotemporal serial verb constructions in White Hmong Nerida Jarkey
    6. Activity incorporates in some Athabaskan languages Keren Rice
    7. Warlpiri verbs of change and causation: the thematic core Mary Laughren
    8. Complex predicates in Wambaya: detaching predicate composition from syntactic structure Rachel Nordlinger
    9. Compound verbs and ideophones in Wolaitta revisited Azeb Amha
    10. The structure of the light verb construction in Amharic Mengistu Amberber
    Author index
    Language index
    Subject index.

  • Editors

    Mengistu Amberber, University of New South Wales, Sydney
    Mengistu Amberber is a senior lecturer in Linguistics at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia). He is the co-editor (with P. Collins) of Language Universals and Variation (2002), and (with H. de Hoop) Competition and Variation in Natural Languages: The Case for Case (2005), and the editor of The Language of Memory in a Cross-Linguistic Perspective (2007).

    Brett Baker, University of Melbourne
    Brett Baker is a senior lecturer in Linguistics at the University of New England (Armidale, Australia). He is the author of Word Structure in Ngalakgan (2008), and the co-editor (with Ilana Mushin) of Discourse and Grammar in Australian Languages (2008).

    Mark Harvey, University of Newcastle, New South Wales
    Mark Harvey is a senior lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Newcastle (Australia). His previous publications include Proto Mirndi: A Discontinous Language Family in Northern Australia (2008), A Grammar of Gaagudju, A Language of the Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory (2002) and A Grammar of Limilngan: A Language of the Mary River Region, Northern Territory (2001).


    Mengistu Amberber, Brett Baker, Mark Harvey, Miriam Butt, William A. Foley, Nerida Jarkey, Keren Rice, Mary Laughren, Rachel Nordlinger, Azeb Amha

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