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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2015/2016

Typology of Valency Change

Area of studies: Fundamental and Applied Linguistics
Delivered at: School of Linguistics
When: 3 year, 1, 2 module
Instructors: Alexander Letuchiy (conducts seminars, checks works and administers exams)
Selection criteria: Студенты 3 курса, владеющие дисциплинами первых двух лет обучения.
Language: English
ECTS credits: 2

The course is designed to give the students the general idea of valency change and its types, as well as typological and theoretical accounts to valency change. The domain of valency change is really important for any language study (descriptive, theoretical or typological), since all languages use only a restricted number of base lexemes to denote the most prototypical situations. Less prototypical ones are coded by derived verbs: here belong, for instance, morphological causatives (e.g., in Turkic languages the verb ‘surprise’ is derived from the base lexeme ‘be surprised by means of a special marker) or reflexives (in a wide subclass of the world’s languages, the situation ‘wash (oneself)’ is denoted by a derived verb, while the basic one means ‘wash (something)’).

The course begins with a brief introduction where I sketch the notion of valency change and the main types of valency change (valency increase, valency decrease, valency-rearranging operations). In what follows, I will provide examples and detailed description of some operations: causative, anticausative, reflexive, reciprocal – as well as some rare types of operations which are rarely concerned under the notion of valency change. Along with canonical examples, some peripheral, but highly interesting cases will be dealt with: for instance, double passives, observed in Karachay-Balkar (Turkic) or Adyghe causatives with a non-standard relation between the subevents.

Finally, we discuss theoretical approaches to valency change, which range from highly formal ones (e.g., the one proposed by Koontz-Garboden for anticausatives) to functional ones (cf. works by Plungjan, Givon and others).

Course materials: