Antipassive in West Greenlandic - Naja Blytmann Trondhjem

9:00 AM, Saturday 5 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
Antipassive constructions are used when there is a focus on the agent, the subject case being changed from relative to absolutive, while the patient is degraded and receives an instrumental case or deleted. WG has about five antipassive affixes which are –ti, -si, -i, , and -nig and -ller. The first three originates from one morpheme *i ‘half transitive’, and are usually attached according to the final sound on verb stems: the first one on t-stems, the second on vowel stems and the last on r-stems. These affixes are highly productive and today they seem to be used more randomly to distinguish different ‘modern’ terms with the same stem, for example errorsi- ‘wash clothes’ vs. errui- ‘wash dishes’. –nig are often used with emotion verbs i.e. asannippoq ‘he/she is in love’, while –ller is used in dynamic and activity verbs i.e. ujarlerpoq ‘he/she is searching for something. Maybe because of influence from the Danish language, it seems that the terms including an antipassive are increasing in use in the WG. Moreover, the (in)transitivizing morphemes in WG are recursive and the shift from transitive to intransitive and vica versa occurs several times within the same verb stem. The aim of this presentation will be to see if there is a ‘system’ in the ‘new’ terms formed with an antipassive morpheme, and to look at the recursive (in)transivitivizing shifts within a verb, to see which of the antipassive morphemes are preferred after causative or applicative morphemes.
Cross Cultural and Regional Studies University of Copenhagen
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