Applicative constructions in standard Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)

Simon Musgrave, Wayan Arka, Gede Primahadi W Rajeg

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is a standardised variety of Malay. The language has two suffixes, -i and -kan, which can attach to verbs and function as applicative morphology: in each case, the suffix causes the argument array of the verb to be modified and it is the non-subject arguments which are affected. Both suffixes also have other functions; in one case the suffix is extensively used also as a causative morpheme. Indonesian has some features of a symmetrical voice system, and undergoer subject constructions are more common than passives in English, for example. Applicative constructions interact with the voice system; in particular, in some cases the applicative possibility is preferred in undergoer voice. For one suffix (-kan), it is not uncommon for the morpheme to appear but for the preposition introducing what would be expected to be an applied argument to be retained. In light of these various complications, we suggest that applicatives in Indonesian are best understood as constructions with characteristics, some more prototypical than others, which can be manipulated to accommodate syntactic and pragmatic factors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationApplicative Constructions in the World's Languages
    Editors Andrej Malchukov and Edith Moravcsik
    Place of PublicationEurope
    PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton
    ISBN (Print)978-3-11-073548-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2024

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