Lexical causatives and causative alternation in Basque



Argitaratua ots 15, 2003
Beñat Oyharçabal


After offering a brief survey of the features of causative sentences in Basque, mainly on
the basis of Dixon's (2000) criteria, the paper deals with Basque lexical causatives, which
can be used as either causative or unaccusative verbs. The proposed analysis assumes that lexical decomposition is carried out directly according to syntactic principles (Hale & Keyser 1993, Baker 1997, McGinnis 2000), and that different types of causative sentence
(morphological vs lexical causatives) correspond to different types ofphrase (VoiceP vs VP) selected by the Cause head (Pylkkannen 2001, 2002; Meggerdoomian 2002). The paper shows that in Basque lexical causatives the Cause head selects one of the predicates BECOME or GO only. Other intransitive verbs are excluded from lexical causativization, even those which are superficially similar verbs of change because they are absolutive monadic verbs (reflexive verbs like orraztu 'comb', verbs of happening like gertatu 'happen', or verbs of activity like jostatu 'play'). Three types of lexical causative are distinguished and analyzed following lexical decomposition: verbs of change of (physical) state, verbs of change of place and psychological causatives. Since Basque, unlike Finnish or Japanese, shows a strict correlation between causation and the existence of an external argument, it is assumed that in Basque as in English, the Cause and Voice heads conflate in lexical causatives (Pylkännen 2002).

How to Cite

Oyharçabal, Beñat. 2003. «Lexical Causatives and Causative Alternation in Basque». Anuario Del Seminario De Filología Vasca "Julio De Urquijo", otsailak, 223-53. https://doi.org/10.1387/asju.9721.
Abstract 95 | PDF (English) Downloads 708