Abstract

This paper examines one particular aspect of Rotuman morphology that Churchward has characterized as a "transitive suffix." Verbs with this suffix show behavior distinct from that of unsuffixed transitive verbs with respect to a number of phenomena, including object definiteness, causativity, and negation, among others. Our conclusion is that the transitivity of verbs with this suffix is somewhat incidental and that the true nature of the suffix is something akin to object agreement for topicalized objects. In the end, we see that although Churchward's label for this suffix may be somewhat misplaced, his careful distinction between two types of transitive verbs, unsuffixed and suffixed, was an important one.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 144-160
Launched on MUSE
2003-06-24
Open Access
No
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