UBC Graduate Research

Verbal agreement of datives in Nyangumarta Weber, Natalie


I show that Nyangumarta (Pama-Nyungan family, Marrngu subgroup) has two types of applicative constructions. Although both have different nominal case frames and different verbal agreement patterns, both occur with a verb final suffix -a, which was previously analyzed as a purposive marker. I show that there are two syntactically distinct homophonous -a suffixes in Nyangumarta, and this homophony has until now obscured their function. The first -a is a low applicative (double object construction) (Pylkkänen 2002) which denotes a transfer of possession relation between two DPs and which I equate with PHave (Harley 2002). The second -a is an indirect object agreement marker which agrees specifically with inanimate or non-specific animate arguments, and which I illustrate specifically with benefactives.

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