KACL Lecture Series
#10 : Tej R. Kansakar 氏
Professor, Tribhuvan University
Causative Constructions in Newar Language
Date : Octover 31, 2001, 17:00--18:30
Place : Meeting Room, located on the 3rd Floor of Graduate School
of Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Kobe University
The causative construction in Newar is one aspect of its morpho-syntax that
has not received much attention in the published grammars of the language.
The purpose of this paper will thus be to examine how morphological
processes are applied to the complex patterns of lexical and syntactic
causative formations, and their productive uses in spoken and written
discourse. The formation of causatives in Newar is normally achieved by
the affixation of a bound morpheme <-k-> (with surface variants ミk-i, -k-e,
-k-_, -kal) to a verb stem and the addition of an appropriate argument.
The affixation of an additional <-k-> to an auxiliary verb such as
'give' or 'leave' and another agentive argument to an already
causativised verb results in multiple causative constructions. This is
traditionally known as direct and indirect causation with agentive causer
and patientive or agentive causee. The morphological and lexical
causatives, including the suppletive causatives, will first be related to
their verb classes and analysed as finite verb forms with regular
inflectional markings irrespective of their transitive and intransitive
functions. From a syntactic point of view, causative actions can be
extended to a number of agentive nominals in the resultant causative chain.
While it is appealing to show that the number of causative morphemes
correlates with the number of agentives in a sentence, the paper will point
out certain syntactic problems in this approach. The first problem has to
do with the relation between subject and agent, and in this I recognize
Permutter's (1980) three classes of verbs : transitive, unergative and
unaccusative to explain the nature of grammatical relations in Newar
causative constructions. The second problem poses the question of whether
there is a one-to-one correspondence between agentive nominals and
causative events. In this context, I introduce the distinction between
intentional and non-intentional causatives where a reduplicated causative
morpheme can serve as an intensifier without adding an agentive argument.
I assume that the causative-intensive constructions may provide important
evidence for typological distinctions among the other Tibeto-Burman
languages of Nepal. I shall also provide limited data on causative
formations in a few T-B and I-A languages of Nepal without attempting to
draw any conclusions from them.
- Kansakar, Tej R. 1982. 'Morphophonemics of the Newar Verb'.
In: Tej. R. Kansakar (Ed.) Occasional Papers in Nepalese
Linguistics, Vol. 1, 12-29. Kathmandu: Linguistic Society of Nepal.
- Malla, Kamal P. 1983. 'Suppletive Causatives in Newari'. A Paper
presented to the 4th Conference of the Linguistic Society of Nepal.
- Malla, Kamal P. 1985. The Newari Language : A Working Outline.
Tokyo : Institute of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa.
Monumenta Serindica Series 14.
- Matisoff, James A. 1976. 'Lahu Causative constructions : Case
Hierarchies and the Morphology / Syntax Cycle in a Tibeto-Burman
Perspective'. In: Masayoshi Shibatani (Ed.) Syntax and Semantics 6:
413-442. New York : Academic Press.
- Permutter, David. 1980. 'Relational Grammar'. In: Edith Moravcsik
and Jessica Wirth (Eds.) Syntax and Semantics 13, 195-230.
New York: Academic Press.
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