Serial Verbs

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. (2018) Serial Verbs. Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory . Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

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Abstract

In many languages of the world, a sequence of several verbs act together as one unit. These sequences—known as serial verbs—form one predicate and contain no overt marker of coordination, subordination, or syntactic dependency of any sort. Serial verbs describe what can be conceptualized as one single event. They are often pronounced as if they were one word, and tend to share subjects and objects. The whole serial verb will have one value for tense, aspect, mood, modality, and evidentiality. Their components cannot be negated or questioned separately without negating or questioning the whole construction. Asymmetrical serial verbs consist of a 'minor' verb from a closed class and a major verb from an open class. The minor component tends to grammaticalize giving rise to markers of aspect, directionality, valency increase, prepositions, and coordinators. Symmetrical serial verbs consist of several components each from an open class. They may undergo lexicalization and become non-compositional idioms. Various grammatical categories—including person, tense, aspect, and negation—can be marked on each component, or just once per construction. Serial verb constructions are a powerful means for a detailed portrayal of various facets of one event. They have numerous grammatical and discourse functions. Serial verbs have to be distinguished from verb sequences of other kinds, including constructions with converbs and auxiliaries, and from verbal compounds. The book sets out cross-linguistic parameters of variation for serial verbs based on an inductive approach and discusses their synchronic and diachronic properties, functions, and histories.

Item ID: 56154
Item Type: Book (Research - A1)
ISBN: 978-0-19-879126-3
Keywords: typology; serial verb construction; evidentiality; variation in serial verbs;anthropological linguistics; language contact
Copyright Information: © Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald 2018.
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2018 00:51
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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