Antipassivization in Basque revisited

Zúñiga, Fernando; Fernández, Beatriz (2021). Antipassivization in Basque revisited (In Press). In: Janic, Katarzyna; Witzlack-Makarevich, Alena (eds.) Antipassive: Typology, diachrony, and related Constructions. Typological Studies in Language: Vol. 130 (pp. 621-640). Amsterdam: John Benjamins

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In this paper, we explore three phenomena that have been considered to be antipassives
in Basque linguistics. First, we briefly review “ergative displacement”
(Laka 1988), related to antipassives as mentioned by Heath (1976). This is not
a bona fide instance of the antipassive, since the ergative displacement affects
only the agreement pattern (the A argument appears indexed as S in finite
verb forms) while the case frame and syntactic status of A and P are as in the
default transitive construction; besides, there is no demotion or suppression
of the P argument. Second, we review two biclausal constructions, namely the
ari-progressive (Hualde & Ortiz de Urbina 1987; Laka 2006) and participial
clauses (Ortiz de Urbina & Uribe-Etxebarria 1991). Although regarded as antipassives
by Postal (1977) and Coyos (2002), respectively, their biclausality, long
argued by some Basque linguists, is incompatible with the antipassive, which
is monoclausal by definition. Finally, de Rijk (2003) labels as antipassives some
intransitive constructions that alternate with transitive ones. This is the closest to
true antipassives that can be found in Basque, but these constructions are lexically
constrained and idiosyncratic, and unlike canonical antipassives attested in other languages of the world.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

Zúñiga, Fernando


400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 490 Other languages




Typological Studies in Language


John Benjamins




Fernando Zúñiga

Date Deposited:

04 Feb 2021 16:58

Last Modified:

04 Feb 2021 16:58


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