Serial Verbs (Paperback)
This book provides an in-depth typological account of the forms, functions, and histories of serial verb constructions. Serial verbs, in which several verbs combine to form a single predicate, describe what is conceptualized as a single event. The verbs in the construction have the same tense, aspect, mood, modality, and evidentiality values, cannot be negated or questioned separately, and usually share the same subject and object. They are a powerful means of portraying various facets of one event, and can express grammatical meanings such as aspect, direction, and causation, particularly in languages where few other means are available. In this volume, Alexandra Aikhenvald seeks to answer unresolved questions such as: What are the parameters of variation in serial verbs? How do serial verbs differ from other, superficially similar multi-verb constructions? How do serial verbs emerge, and what happens to them over time? What role do they play in the representation of event structure? The book uses an inductively-based framework for the analysis and draws on data from languages with different typological profiles and genetic affiliations. It will be of interest to researchers and students from a wide range of fields of linguistics, especially typology, anthropological linguistics, and language contact.
Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald is Australian Laureate Fellow, Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Indigenous Health and Equity Research at Central Queensland University and Foundation Director of the former Language and Culture Research Centre at James Cook University.