Oblique Serial Verbs in Creole/Pidgin Languages
This paper focuses on the syntax of (argument introducing/valency increasing) serial verbs in Creole/Pidgin languages, providing empirical arguments for the model of grammatical relations advanced in a series of recent works by Manzini and Savoia (2011a, 2011b), Manzini and Franco (2016), Franco and Manzini (2017a, 2017b), Manzini et al. (to appear a, b). These authors lay out an analysis of the syntax and interpretation of dative to, instrumental with and Differential Object Marking (DOM) relators, based on the assumption that these elements are predicates endowed with an elementary interpretive content interacting with the internal organization of the event. We assume that these oblique relators, expressing a primitive elementary part-whole/possession relation, may be instantiated also by serial (light) verbs in the grammar of natural languages. We provide a formal approach to cross-categorial variation in argument marking, trying to outline a unified morpho-syntactic template, in which so-called ‘cases’ do not configure a specialized linguistic lexicon of functional features/categories – on the contrary they help us outline an underlying ontology of natural languages, of which they pick up some of the most elementary relations. Such primitive relations can be expressed by different lexical means (e.g. case, adpositions, light verbs, etc.).
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