Culminating and non-culminating accomplishments in Malagasy

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

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Abstract

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
JournalLinguistics
Volume58
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • aspect
  • Malagasy
  • culmination
  • causation
  • ability

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