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Multi-Verb Constructions: Setting The Scene

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Chapter Summary

In many languages of the world, several verbs combine to form a single predicate of one clause. The verbs in the construction share tense, aspect, modality, mood, evidentiality and polarity value, and are marked for the same person, number and gender of the subject in this case, second person singular. Here, and throughout this chapter, components of multi-verb constructions are discussed. The serial verb construction itself is in brackets. Serial verb constructions are a major type of mono-clausal multi-verb structures across the world's languages. The chapter provides a background, and an introduction, to kinds and structures of multi-verb constructions in the languages of the Americas. It also addresses the crucial question. how do the multi-verb structures relate to-and interact with-one another, and what can we conclude about the paths of their historical development and areal distribution? The chapter focuses on historical paths of development of multi-verb constructions.

Keywords: auxiliary verbs; languages; multi-verb constructions; serial verb construction

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