Culminating and non-culminating accomplishments in Malagasy

H.E. de Swart, Ileana Paul, Baholisoa Simone Ralalaoherivony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)


Malagasy is a language with non-culminating accomplishments. There is, however, a specific prefix (maha-), which appears to entail culmination. Moreover, verbs prefixed with maha- display a range of interpretations: causative, abilitive, ‘manage to’, and unintentionality. This paper accounts for these two aspects of this prefix with a unified semantic analysis. In particular, maha- encodes double prevention. The double prevention configuration is associated with a circumstantial modal base, which leads to culminating readings in the past and future, but not the present tense. The embedding of double prevention in a force-theoretic framework leads to a more fine-grained theory of causation, which the Malagasy data show to have empirical relevance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1285-1322
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • aspect
  • Malagasy
  • culmination
  • causation
  • ability


Dive into the research topics of 'Culminating and non-culminating accomplishments in Malagasy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this