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The morphosyntax of experience predicates in Tocharian

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This paper discusses the morphosyntactic strategies used in Tocharian to encode argument functions in simple clauses, with focus on experience predicates. This may be relevant to fill a lacuna in the literature on experience predicates, which have not been investigated in Tocharian. We shall see that experience predicates in Tocharian typically require a nominative experiencer, rather than an oblique experiencer, and that the low transitivity of the predicate is expressed by the middle voice. All this may also be of more general relevance to illustrate the interaction between case marking and verbal voice to express argument functions in languages.
Cet article analyse les stratégies morphosyntaxiques employées en tokharien pour codifier les prédicats dits d’« expérience », par le biais de parallèles issus d’autres langues indo-européennes. Cela peut être important pour remplir un vide dans la littérature concernant ce type de verbes, qui jusqu’ici n’ont pas été analysés par rapport au tokharien. On montrera que ces prédicats demandent le cas nominatif pour le sujet qui réalise l’expérience, au lieu d’un cas oblique, et que la faible transitivité de ces prédicats est exprimée par la diathèse moyenne. De manière plus générale, tout cela pourra aussi mettre en lumière l’interaction entre les cas de la déclinaison et la diathèse verbale dans l’expression de fonctions argumentales dans les langues.

Affiliations: 1: University of Zurich


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