On Universal Quantification and Exhaustive Focus in Besemah

The conflation of causative and applicative functions in a single morpheme has been fairly well documented in a number of languages of western Indonesia (e.g., the causative/applicative syncretic suffix -kan in Standard Indonesian, which--depending upon the root to which it attaches--functions as a causative (duduk ‘sit’ > duduk-kan ‘seat’), benefactive applicative (buat ‘make’ > buat-kan ‘make for’), or instrumental applicative (balut ‘wrap’ > balut-kan ‘wrap with’). While these causative/applicative syncretic suffixes are widespread throughout the region, it has not been possible to reconstruct a single form. Furthermore, it is also unclear how the syncretism developed in the first place. 

Building upon Ras (1970), Sirk (1996), and Adelaar (2011), this paper presents preliminary findings that suggests that (i) an original benefactive/instrumental-appli cative suffix (possibly *-An) was replaced in many languages with one of two prepositions by either borrowing or through a process of 'replica grammaticalization' (Heine & Kuteva 2003), and (ii) this causative/applicative syncretism arose through an unexpected pathway whereby roots with the applicative suffix combined also with the causative prefix, which was later lost, leaving a single suffix to express both causative and applicative functions.



Bradley McDonnell, Ph.D. (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa)


Day  : Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Time : 10:00 – 11:30 WIB

Place : Ruang Rapat, K22.03

           K2 Building, Unika Atma Jaya


Email: pkbb@atmajaya.ac.id



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