This paper compares argument marking of finite and non-finite forms (verbal nouns) of 26 Old Irish verbs, focusing on the relationship of transitive coding patterns of finite forms with the mapping of the argument in the genitive case with non-finite forms. The collection of argument structures is cast in the framework of the Leipzig Valency Patterns Project (Hartmann, Haspelmath, and Taylor 2013, Malchukov and Comrie 2015). The paper argues that, although most genitive arguments with transitive verbs express the microrole which corresponds to the second argument (the P-argument), this is not a strict rule, and some verbal nouns of transitive verbs clearly allow the first argument (the A-argument) to surface in the genitive. It is claimed that there is a correlation between the likelihood for finite forms to occur with an accusative argument and the likelihood for the genitive argument of non-finite forms to correspond to the P-argument. This likelihood is measured through a transitivity index that tries to supply a criterion that substitutes acceptability judgments, which are unavailable for past varieties. Each verb’s index can be calculated and each verb can consequently be accommodated in the resulting transitivity scale. Finally, the scale ranking Old Irish verbs according to the transitivity index is compared with crosslinguistic hierarchies of transitivity which have been put forward in the literature.

Valency Patterns of Old Irish verbs: finite and non-finite syntax

Elisa Roma
2021

Abstract

This paper compares argument marking of finite and non-finite forms (verbal nouns) of 26 Old Irish verbs, focusing on the relationship of transitive coding patterns of finite forms with the mapping of the argument in the genitive case with non-finite forms. The collection of argument structures is cast in the framework of the Leipzig Valency Patterns Project (Hartmann, Haspelmath, and Taylor 2013, Malchukov and Comrie 2015). The paper argues that, although most genitive arguments with transitive verbs express the microrole which corresponds to the second argument (the P-argument), this is not a strict rule, and some verbal nouns of transitive verbs clearly allow the first argument (the A-argument) to surface in the genitive. It is claimed that there is a correlation between the likelihood for finite forms to occur with an accusative argument and the likelihood for the genitive argument of non-finite forms to correspond to the P-argument. This likelihood is measured through a transitivity index that tries to supply a criterion that substitutes acceptability judgments, which are unavailable for past varieties. Each verb’s index can be calculated and each verb can consequently be accommodated in the resulting transitivity scale. Finally, the scale ranking Old Irish verbs according to the transitivity index is compared with crosslinguistic hierarchies of transitivity which have been put forward in the literature.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1442694
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