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CitationPolinsky, Maria. 2017. Antipassive. In Oxford Handbook of Egrativity, ed. Jessica Coon, Diane Massam, and Lisa deMena Travis, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
AbstractThis chapter presents typical properties of the antipassive, addresses its cross-linguistic distribution, and discusses main existing analyses. ''Antipassives" are constructions in which the logical object of a transitive (two-place) predicate is not realized as a direct object, but instead appears as a non-core argument or left unexpressed (but presupposed). The morphological realization of the antipassive is more varied than is usually assumed; in particular, pseudo noun incorporation, true noun incorporation, and bi-absolutive constructions can instantiate the antipassive. The antipassive and the passive are not mutually exclusive; a number of examples in this chapter provide empirical evidence in support of antipassive/passive compatibility. The antipassive is not limited to ergative languages, although it may be more noticeable under ergative configuration. Lexicalist approaches contend that antipassive predicates are specified independently of transitive predicates and enter syntax with case-licensing properties. Existing syntactic analyses of the antipassive converge on the notion that the object is licensed differently in the antipassive than it is in transitive clauses, but diverge with respect to the details of the licensing. Under one family of analyses, the internal argument of a two-place verb is saturated by a nominal element, preventing the verb from assigning structural case to its logical object. Under a second family of analyses, the logical object in the antipassive is licensed inside the verb phrase, and the object of regular transitive verbs is licensed in a higher position in the structure. Recurrent properties of the antipassive include the imperfective interpretation and the backgrounding of the logical object. However common, these properties are not universally associated with the antipassive and cannot be used to define it.
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