A causal decomposition for associated motion events in Santiago Laxopa Zapotec
John Duff
June 2021

This paper provides a semantic account for a verbal construction which disobeys many purported limits on the events which may be encoded in a single clause. In the "associated motion" construction in Santiago Laxopa Zapotec (Oto-Manguean, Oaxaca), verbs marked with certain prefixes (the venitive and andative) indicate that the event denoted by the verb is preceded by a motion event of coming or going. It is shown that within this construction, (i) a sequence of sub-events lacking temporal adjacency are nevertheless presented as a single meta-event, and (ii) subjects are required to be intentional participants. To deal with these puzzles, the analysis proposed (i) takes the sub-events to be related via a temporally diffuse causal relation (enablement) and (ii) proposes that intention is derived from an entailment that the entire meta-event is the result of an intentional state held by the subject (a plan). Further discussion highlights how associated motion resembles a larger class of exceptionally complex events which also require intentionality, suggesting that plans may underpin a unified theory of exceptional event complexity.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006173
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Forthcoming in Proceedings of WCCFL 39
keywords: events, decomposition, causation, motion, associated motion, serial verbs, enablement, intention, oto-manguean, zapotec, semantics, morphology
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