- 大阪大学大学院文学研究科紀要 (ISSN:13453548)
- vol.45, pp.A19-A58, 2005-03-20
The goal of this paper is to explicate the true nature of split intransitives. To achieve this goal we explored the experiential basis of the unaccusative hypothesis and arrived at the following conclusions: 1. The passive, including the impersonal passive and adversative passive, is primarily based on the activity verbs (S_a=A) and undergoes generalization accommodating change of state verbs (S_p=P) verbs as well (Cf. Shibatani 1998). 2. The causative alternation is primarily based on change of state verbs (S_p=P) and undergoes generalization accommodating the activity verbs (S_a=A)(Cf.Shibatani & Pardeshi 2002). 3. The split intransitive system in active languages is based on at least two different semantic criteria (Cf. Mithun 1991). From the results mentioned above we propose the following claims: 4. The behaviour of the intransitives is not a dichotomy as envisaged by the unaccusative hypothesis. The groupings are non-homogeneous and form a continuum rather than a dichotomy. Further, the size of each group varies from one language to another. In order to capture these facts we propose the following terms: Semantic Nominative-accusative system and Semantic Ergative-absolutive system. These terms are precisely defined and introduced drawing a systematic parallel with the casemaking systems. 5. In relation to 3 above, developing the proposal of Mithun (1991), we propose a "speaker's viewpoint" parameter related to the origination of a state of affairs. Even in the active languages, we do not find the ideal active-inactive dichotomy pattern as envisaged by the unaccusative hypothesis. We claim that the "speaker's viewpoint" parameter proposed herein varies from one language to another and therefore the so-called universal, single parameter based unaccusative hypothesis is in fact not universal.