Article published in:Argument Realisation in Complex Predicates and Complex Events: Verb-verb constructions at the syntax-semantic interface
Edited by Brian Nolan and Elke Diedrichsen
[Studies in Language Companion Series 180] 2017
► pp. 213–243
Complex verbs in Bohairic Coptic
Language contact and valency
This chapter discusses second argument markers in Bohairic Coptic complex verbs constructed with the light verbs er‑ ‘do, make’ and ti- ‘give’ and typically used to integrate verbal borrowings from Greek. The question is examined if Coptic argument marking can be considered a replica of Greek valency patterns. Enhancement of already existing marking strategies seems more plausible, however, whereby the rise of complex verbs has contributed to a radical restructuring of the transitivity system in Coptic. Two competing subsystems of transitivity are distinguished: a recessive one characterized by head marking and emphasis on the discriminating function of case and a productive one in which the characterizing function of case becomes prominent thanks to dependent marking by means of a preposition.
Published online: 26 January 2017
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