Abstract

This paper offers a new perspective to the study of the verbal prefix meN- by investigating its aspectual properties. We claim that, like the progressive, the prefix meN- in Malay is incompatible with sentences that describe states. This result is compatible with an analysis of meN- as a progressive viewpoint aspectual marker, though it is also possible that meN- shares with the progressive a meaning component that makes them both incompatible with states. We show that the incompatibility of meN- with states is found in both intransitive and transitive sentences. On the basis of their shared restriction, we argue that meN- in intransitive and meN- in transitive sentences should not be treated as distinct morphemes, as some previous researchers either have assumed or must assume. The result thus adds a new data point for a better understanding of meN-, and enables us to narrow down the competing analyses of meN-.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 148-171
Launched on MUSE
2009-07-23
Open Access
No
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