The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

MIT Colloquium 10/26 - Sergei Tatevosov (Lomonosov Moscow State Univercity)

Speaker: Sergei Tatevosov (Lomonosov Moscow State University)
Title: On sociative causation and its wider implications
Time: Friday, December 26, 3:30-5pm
Place: 32-155

In this talk I address the phenomenon known as sociative causation, which is illustrated in (1) from Сavineña (Guillaume & Rose 2010):

(1)    E-ra-tu    ara-kere-chine    torta    Don Fransisco.
    1SG-ERG-3SG    eat-CAUS.SOC-REC.PAST    cake     Mr. Francisco
    ‘I had Mr. Francisco eat a cake with me’

Semantically, sociative causatives, as Guillaume and Rose indicate, involve a causer who does not only make “the causee do an action, but also participates in it, which is usually paraphrased with sentences like make someone do something by doing it with them or help someone do something”.
A crucial issue a theory of causativization has to address is the place of sociative causation within the wider spectrum of causativization phenomena, which include two other major types of causatives attested in natural languages, direct, or immediate, and non-direct ones. Relying on evidence from Tatar (Turkic), I propose that sociative causation reduces to the incremental relation between causing and caused subevents. In the emerging system, both ‘direct’ and ‘non-direct’ (= ‘not necessarily direct’) causation can be strengthened by the additional requirement that the two eventualities are incrementally related. I argue for a theory of syntactically represented event structure, where relations between its subevental components come out as a separate syntactic projection and show that a significant support for this proposal comes from spell-out patterns of sociative causatives.