'Tense' marked obliques in Malagasy

Authors:
Date:
2008
Part Of Series:
Studies in Philippine Languages and Cultures; 10-ICAL Austronesian Papers; Volume 18 (2008); pp. 142-158
Extent:
pages 142-158
Abstract:
In Malagasy, spatial deictic adverbials and certain prepositional phrases (PPs) may carry the prefix t-. This prefix is usually analyzed as a past tense marker, since oblique predicates take t- when the verb is marked for past tense. It is generally assumed that 'tense matching' is mandatory. Here, however, I present data showing that past tense verbs may take non-t-marked obliques (mismatching). When the oblique denotes a goal, mismatching generally indicates that the theme of motion is currently occupying the endpoint of motion, or has not yet reached it. When the oblique denotes an instrument, location, etc., mismatching triggers a past habitual reading. I propose a provisional account of these facts, which treats t- as a marker of temporal boundedness and captures the contrast between goal and non-goal obliques in terms of where they merge in the syntactic structure.
Publication Status:
Published
Country:
Madagascar
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Field:
Work Type:
Subject:
Syntax
Nature of Work:
Entry Number:
42080