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Building and Interpreting Possession Sentences$
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Neil Myler

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034913

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034913.001.0001

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The Micro-Comparative Syntax of Possession in Quechua

The Micro-Comparative Syntax of Possession in Quechua

(p.177) 3 The Micro-Comparative Syntax of Possession in Quechua
Building and Interpreting Possession Sentences

Neil Myler

The MIT Press

The approach of this book makes two important predictions different from those of the Freeze/Kayne tradition: (a.) possession constructions can vary in the place in the structure where the possessor is introduced, (b.) the different ways of building possession sentences permitted by (a.) could have somewhat different meanings, depending on the semantic contributions of the pieces that make them up. This chapter provides existence proofs that these predictions are correct, drawn from new fieldwork data on two understudied Quechua dialects. Prediction (a.) is supported by an analysis of two possession constructions in Cochabamba Quechua, dubbed the BE construction and the BE-APPL construction, which differ precisely in where the possessor is introduced into the structure. Prediction (b.) is supported via a comparison of the BE-APPL construction in Cochabamba Quechua with a similar construction in Santiago del Estero Quechua. Both case studies suggest that the applicative morpheme does not introduce a thematic role of its own, a fact that has important implications for applicative theory. The chapter closes with some preliminary remarks on why Quechua languages vary with respect to whether or not they have HAVE.

Keywords:   Quechua, Applicative, Existentials, Copulas, Possession, Fieldwork, Delayed Gratification, Micro-comparative syntax

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