She seldoms to what? An investigation into adverbial verbs and interrogative verbs in verb-initial languages

Author

Summary, in English

Adverbial verbs and interrogative verbs are two relatively rare and underexplored
linguistic phenomena that are investigated in this typological study. Adverbial verbs
are verbal constituents that possess the morphosyntactic properties of verbs but that
encode manner and temporal information, instead of referring to states or events as
verbs prototypically do. Interrogative verbs possess the morphosyntactic properties of
verbs while questioning the very content of the predicate to which they refer.

This typological study examined the properties and distribution of adverbial verbs and
interrogative verbs in a language sample consisting of 60 verb-initial languages from
43 genera distributed throughout the world. It furthermore investigated the hypothesis
that there is a positive correlation between adverbial verbs and interrogative verbs in
verb-initial languages. The hypothesis that they develop via analogy from one another
was also examined. Finally, the predictions made by the theoretical explanation of
adverbial verbs stating that they are derived from overtly realized heads in functional
projections were tested against the language sample employed in this study.

The results of this study found no positive correlation between the presence of
adverbial and interrogative verbs in verb-initial languages. A positive correlation
between adverbial verbs and interrogative verbs were found in Austronesian
languages, suggesting that it is a genetic feature of said language family. Furthermore,
no evidence was found suggesting that adverbial verbs develop via analogy from
interrogative verbs, or that interrogative verbs develop via analogy from adverbial
verbs. Moreover, the theoretical analysis of adverbial verbs as being derived from
overtly realized heads in functional projections was corroborated by the results of this
study.

This study also showed that adverbial verbs are found throughout the verb-initial
languages of the world and that adverbial verbs ought to be recognized as a
typologically valid linguistic category. It moreover provided further empirical support
for the assertion that interrogative verbs are a genuine linguistic class. Finally, the
proposal that languages with adverbial modifiers of manner realized as verbal affixes
ought to be classified into the same category of languages with adverbial verbs was
proposed and defended in this paper. The claim is based on the assertion that the
underlying structure in both cases is the same, where adverbial modifiers of manner
realized as verbal affixes are also derived from overtly realized heads in functional
projections.

Topic

  • Languages and Literatures

Keywords

  • Adverbial verbs
  • interrogative verbs
  • verb-initial languages

Supervisor

  • Arthur Holmer
  • Marit Julien