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Original scientific paper
Ranko Matasović; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb




This paper presents the basic typological properties of the causative construction in Kabardian, using Dixon’s (2000) typology of causatives, and points out some of its cross–linguistically unusual features. It is argued that arguments of causativized verbs preserve the same cases they are assigned by the underlying non–causatives, in accordance with the “Dependent–first” strategy of case assignment (Matasovi} 2009). We also discuss the juncture/nextus type of Kabardian causatives. Several arguments show that the construction represents nuclear coordination. An examination of reflexivized causatives in Kabardian, and the comparison of similar structures in Spanish, English, and Jakaltek, shows that languages can differ in their choice of the argument which serves as the binder of the reflexive in a nuclear juncture: in some languages this is the highest ranking macrorole of the causative verb (e.g. in Jakaltek), but in others this can be the highest ranking macrorole of the underlying base verb, which is the case in Kabardian. Finally, we discuss a number of theoretical issues relevant to Role and Reference Grammar, especially the problem of the domain of case assignment. The apparent problem that case–marked independent RPs in Kabardian are outside the core, which is supposed to be the domain of case assignment, is resolved by positing the clause as the universal case assignment domain for all languages. The typological differences between languages such as English(where only one RP in the clause can receive the Nominative case) and Icelandic (where RPs in different co–ordinated cores can be marked for the Nominative) boil down to the contrast between “Head–first” case assignment (as in English) and “Dependent–first” case assignment (as in Icelandic and Kabardian).



causative; reflexive verbs; case marking domain; linguistic typology; Kabardian language


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