Kena adversative passives in malay, funny control, and covert voice alternation

Hiroki Nomoto, Kartini Abd. Wahab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper investigates the syntax of kena adversative passives in Malay. First, we establish the relation between kena passives and sentences with kena meaning 'have to' as a passive-active pair. These two constructions have been considered unrelated. A close examination of kena passive sentences in relation to their active counterparts reveals that kena is actually not a passive marker but a member of a class of predicates giving rise to funny control, a phenomenon whereby the external argument of these predicates is associated with either the internal or the external argument of the passive clause they embed. This enables a principled syntactic explanation for why kena is used in the two relevant constructions. We argue that voice, both active and passive, is indicated covertly in kena sentences when the lower verb bears no morphological voice marker. It is suggested that "covert voice alternation" is one of the typologically common voice alternations, and it enables us to understand the seemingly manifold voice systems of Austronesian languages in the Malay Archipelago in a more connected manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-386
Number of pages27
JournalOceanic Linguistics
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

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syntax
examination
language
Alternation
Syntax
Austronesian Languages
Clause
Active Voice
Verbs
Passive Sentences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics

Cite this

Kena adversative passives in malay, funny control, and covert voice alternation. / Nomoto, Hiroki; Abd. Wahab, Kartini.

In: Oceanic Linguistics, Vol. 51, No. 2, 12.2012, p. 360-386.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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