Abstract

The Georgian language has an unusual abundance of indirect (dative-subject) verbs. Most of these are intransitive, but several dozen are formally transitive. The focus of this article is on the subset of Georgian indirect transitives that lack overt grammatical subjects (e.g., ‘I shiver’, lit., ‘it makes me shiver’). The semantic, morphological, and syntactic features of Georgian agentless transitives are presented and compared to those of similar verb types from other languages. Of particular interest is a small group of bodily emanation verbs, such as ‘yawn’ and ‘belch’, that are paired with syntactically inverse direct-transitive verb forms. A scenario is reconstructed for the origin of such direct-indirect pairings, which are otherwise unknown in Georgian.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-6527
Print ISSN
0003-5483
Pages
pp. 269-295
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-15
Open Access
No
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