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mar. 12/06/2018 Head-Modifier Relations in Verb-Verb Compounds: A Preliminary Typology
by Alexei Vinyar (ASLAN visitor & National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), Moscou)
ISH, André Frossard

In this talk, I would like to discuss my preliminary typological study of Head-Modifier relations in verb-verb compound construction (VCC further). In my definition, a VCC is a serial verb construction (SVC) whose elements are strictly contiguous (1-3). My study focuses on two problems highlighted by previous research on SVCs: the principles determining the order of the VCC components and the propensity of certain SVCs/VCCs to grammaticalize.

(1) Saliba, Austronesian family (Multinesia)
‘He threw it down’. (Margetts 1999: 126)

(2) =ǀHoan, Kxa family (Africa)
ma ‖kǒe na ka ‖hoam-‖hoam ča
1SG still ITIN SUB jog come
‘While I still was coming jogging’. (Collins & Gruber 2014: 169)

(3) Chimalapa Zoque, Mixe-Zoquean family (North America)
piceŋhoʔ dəš də=min-təʔ-keʔt-pa
thus 1PRN 1A=come-want-REPET-INC
‘That’s why I want to come back again’. (Johnson 2000: 237)

In the introductory part of my talk I will briefly discuss the concepts I use and the constructions I investigate in my study and how these concepts differ from the ones used by Aikhenvald & Dixon (2006) and Haspelmath (2016).

The second part of my talk is devoted to the ordering of the VCC components. For the data I have, I argue that the order of verbs in the VCCs with cognition and desire verbs (3) correlates with the order in object-verb and incorporation constructions. However, the order of verbs in Manner-of-Motion VCCs (2) and Directional VCCs (1) is semantically-influenced and is ‘ignorant’ to other syntactic structures.

In the third part of my talk, I focus on the grammaticalization of the VCCs I studied. I discuss previous claims (see Aikhenvald 2006; Bisang 2009) about the role of SVCs/VCCs in grammaticalization and how these claims can be applied to my results.

Aikhenvald, A. Y. (2006). Serial verb constructions in typological perspective. Serial verb constructions: A cross-linguistic typology, 1-68.
Aikhenvald, A. I., & Dixon, R. M. W. (Eds.). (2006). Serial verb constructions: A cross-linguistic typology (Vol. 2). Oxford University Press on Demand.
Bisang, W. (2009). Serial verb constructions. Language and Linguistics Compass, 3(3), 792-814.
Haspelmath, M. (2016). The serial verb construction: Comparative concept and cross-linguistic generalizations. Language and Linguistics, 17(3), 291-319.


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