Locatives and the argument-adjunct distinction in Balinese

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    This paper uses the realisation of locative-related roles in Balinese to show that there is no clear-cut distinction between arguments and adjuncts, supporting the gradient nature of grammatical functions (cf. Croft 2001; Langacker 1987; Aarts 2007). It argues that argumenthood is not wholly a property of a lexical head predicate and that a purely lexically based projectionist approach to syntactic argument structures cannot be maintained. It also explores the effect that the interplay between relevant properties of locatives has on their recruitability as arguments, and a novel argument-index analysis is proposed as a means to distinguish adjuncts from arguments. The analysis makes use of both general and language-specific morphosyntactic and morphosemantic tests. Investigation of locative-related roles reveals that certain properties determine their status in the argument-adjunct continuum: thematic, individuated and animate locatives are more argument-like than non-thematic, inanimate and general deictic locatives (in line with Kittila 2007, 2008; Peterson 2007). Interplay between these properties is shown to affect argument recruitment in Balinese, based on the value of the argument index for a given locative-related role. More generally, there also is evidence that languages vary in whether they allow true adjuncts to be recruited as arguments at all.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)56-84
    JournalLinguistic Discovery
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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