ISSN: 2306-5737E-ISSN: 2658-4069
Acta Linguistica Petropolitana
Transactions of the Institute for Linguistic Studies
ISSN: 2306-5737E-ISSN: 2658-4069
Acta Linguistica Petropolitana
Transactions of the Institute for Linguistic Studies 

Verbs of falling and their argument structure in Circassian languages

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Bagirokova I. G., Ryzhova D. A. Glagoly padeniya i osobennosti ikh argumentnoy struktury v adygskikh yazykakh. Acta Linguistica Petropolitana. 2020. XVI(1): 723–756.

This paper describes the semantics of falling in Adyghe and Kuban Kabardian from a typological perspective. The analysis is based on corpus data, accompanied by the results of elicitation. Although they represent the same Circassian branch of the Northwest Caucasian family, Adyghe and Kabardian still demonstrate some differences in the way their predicates of falling are lexicalized: while in Adyghe we have a distributive system which includes special lexical means for different types of falling (verbal root -fe‑ for falling from above, wəḳʷerejə‑ for losing vertical orientation, ‑zǝ‑ for detachment, and verbs from adjacent semantic domains such as -we- ‘beat’ for destruction), there is only one dominant (‑xwe‑) and several peripheral predicates in the Kabardian language. What is peculiar about these languages, when compared to the available typological data, is that the parameter of orientation to the initial (Source) vs. final point (Goal) of movement is of special importance in lexicalizing cases of falling. In Circassian languages, simultaneous surface expression of Source and Goal of movement within a clause is prohibited for morphosyntactic reasons, and the lexemes denoting falling are divided into Source- vs. Goal-oriented ones. For some verbal roots, this orientation is an intrinsic semantic property (cf. ‑zǝ‑ which is always Source-oriented); in other cases, it is marked with specific affixes (cf. a locative combination je‑…‑xǝ ‘down’ which marks re-orientation to the Source of falling of the initially Goal-oriented Adyghe verb -fe‑). Thus, our analysis of the material may not only help to contribute to the general typology of falling but may throw light on such a phenomenon in cognitive linguistics as the emphasis on the final point of movement in opposition to the initial point, also known as goal bias.

lexical typology, verbs of falling, Adyghe, Kabardian, Source, Goal, argument structure
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lexical typology, verbs of falling, Adyghe, Kabardian, Source, Goal, argument structure
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