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Title: Applicative Constructions in Maasai
Authors: Van Dorn Lamoureaux, Siri
Keywords: Nilo-Saharan Languages
Maasai - Grammar
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: University of Oregon
Abstract: This thesis is a descriptive study of Applicative constructions in Maa, a Nilo-Saharan language spoken in Kenya and Tanzania. I analyze the syntax and semantics of the "Dative", "Instrumental" and "Directional" Applicatives. The "Dative" introduces GOALs or BENEFACTIVEs; an additional function marks increased transitivity. The "Instrumental" introduces an INSTRUMENT, LOCATIVE, ASSOCIATIVE or THEME, and also functions as a Causative. The function of the Ventive Directional is to add the notion 'toward' to verbs without affecting valence, but as an Applicative, functions to introduce THEME arguments to verbs that otherwise would subcategorize for a SOURCE. Dative and Instrumental Applicatives introduce new objects but do not demote arguments. The Directional is different because applied THEMEs co-occur with demotion of original SOURCE arguments to oblique status. A description of Maa Applicative constructions is a contribution to the typology of argument altering mechanisms and is of interest to theoreticians of grammatical relations.
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