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Query Details

Query Subject:   Hindi Causatives
Author:   Gavin Austin
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Syntax
Subject Language(s):  Hindi

Language Family:  None

Query:   Dear all,

I have a quick question about causatives in Hindi. I hope a native Hindi
speaker can help.

(1) raam-nee khaanaa khaa-yaa.
Ram-AGENT food eat-PAST
'Ram ate dinner.'

(2) mal-nee raam-koo/*see khaanaa khil-aa-yaa.
'I fed Ram.'

(3) raam-nee nahaa-yaa.
Ram-AGENT bathe-PAST
'Ram bathed.

(4) mal-nee raam-kool*see nahal-aa-yaa.
'I bathed Ram.'

Is the following correct? In (2), Ram cannot perform the action of eating
without assistance: perhaps he is a small child or an invalid. In (4),
however, there is no obligatory implication that Ram needs help. Perhaps he
does, or perhaps he doesn’t.

Basically I'm interested in whether causatives in Hindi take obligatorily
assisted causees when the verb is ingestive (e.g. 2), but not otherwise.
Sinhala is like this, for example.


Gavin Austin
U of New England
(examples from Saksena 1980)
LL Issue: 19.1789
Date posted: 04-Jun-2008


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