Grammaticalization and Lexical Expression of Tropative from a Typological Perspective

Roman Tarasov,

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation


This report is dedicated to typology of tropative, which is a verbal derivational category having a meaning “X considers Y to be Z”. This term (from Vulgar Latin tropare — to find) was introduced in Pierre Larche’s article about Classical Arabic language. In the report, verbs and clauses with a similar semantics and also a derivational category having a meaning “Y is considered to be Z” (reverse tropative) are considered. During the research, 169 natural, 14 constructed and 4 extinct languages were processed separately using a cross-section method, which involved an online questionnaire offered to native speakers of natural languages and users of constructed languages. Survey participants translated sentences containing direct and reverse tropative from Russian, English, Persian, Spanish, or Ukrainian language. As a result, tropative systems of processed languages were categorized by the tropative grammaticalization degree, direct and reverse constructions correlation and some other parameters. Expectedly, 186 of 187 languages appeared to be able to express some type of tropative with a single exception of Arrernte. The most standard situation is a tropative expressed lexically (Z not incorporated into verb) but using 1 finite clause. In this case a tropative verb is more ofte ben polysemic (e.g. Turkish saymak or Arabic hasiba “count”, Persian dānestan “know”) than monosemic, reverse tropative is a passivation of a direct one (however, there are some languages with independent reverse constructions, like Zulu or North Russian Romani).

Keywords: Tropative, Grammaticalization Degree, Typology, Direct and Reverse Constructions.

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