Causative constructions in Ainu: A typological perspective with remarks on the diachrony

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There are productive (-re/-e/-te, -yar/-ar) and non-productive (-V, -ke, -ka) causatives in Ainu. Non-productive causatives have traditionally been regarded as 'transitives', but proposing a revision of Tamura's model of verbal structure in Ainu, this paper argues that they can be regarded as direct causatives, though causatives in-V do not have the same derivational status and should rather be regarded as lexical causatives. A cross-dialectal comparison shows that the causative function of -ka is gradually being replaced by the productive causative -re/-e/-te which came to be used as a default causative marker of direct/indirect causation. Three of five causative morphemes originated in the verbs 'make' and 'do'; all of them have also been attested with the denominal causative function, which suggests the following general pattern for the development of causatives in Ainu: DO/MAKE>DENOM>DIR CAUS>(INDIR CAUS).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-484
Number of pages46
JournalSTUF - Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • Ainu
  • Causative
  • Diachrony
  • Function
  • Syntax
  • Verbal structure

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