Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 4(5), pp. 355 - 361
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040507
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Towards a Morph-syntactic Typology of Split Intransitivity

Wenchao Li *, Alita
Department of Japanese Studies, School of International Studies, Zhejiang University, China


This paper analyses the split intransitivity by introducing data from Japanese and Mongolian. The finding reveals that Japanese split intransitivity links to postposition selection, i.e. unergative motion verbs describe processes with a durative motion event and thus are likely to yield directional postpositions or a route with an endpoint. Unaccusative verbs, on the other hand, indicate a punctual motion event and therefore often occur with locative postpositions. Intransitives further split in lexicalisation, i.e. Japanese unergative verbs tend to convey the MANNER of motion while unaccusative verbs appear to favour the PATH of motion. Mongolian seems to render the path in the main verb, leaving manner to be encoded in an optional constituent, i.e. a converbal construction. The combination of converbal construction is restricted to [non-scale change morphemes + totally closed-scale change morphemes] and [non-scale change morphemes + lower closed-scale morphemes]. Essentially, unergative verbs can be non-scale change morpheme or totally open-scale morpheme, contributing to the manner of motion. Unaccusative verbs can be totally closed-scale, or upper closed-scale, or lower closed-scale morpheme, denoting the path of motion.

Split Intransitivity, Unaccusative, Unergative, Morpho- syntax, Japanese, Mongolian

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Wenchao Li , Alita , "Towards a Morph-syntactic Typology of Split Intransitivity," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 4, No. 5, pp. 355 - 361, 2016. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040507.

(b). APA Format:
Wenchao Li , Alita (2016). Towards a Morph-syntactic Typology of Split Intransitivity. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 4(5), 355 - 361. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040507.