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Serial verbs in trigger systems

From:FFlores <fflores@...>
Date:Sunday, March 14, 1999, 22:59
Well, I'm half presenting a new language, and half
asking a very important question, though I think only
two people in the list may answer it in full (you'll

The thing is, I have a trigger system, and I also
want serial verbs. I've read that (Korean?) uses
the verb "give" in a serial verb construction to
mean "to" (dative). I want that kind of stuff in
my trigger system, because I have to make up a lot
of verb applicatives for different trigger roles,
and I don't want to make up a separate set of
corresponding prepositions. The simple difference
between core and oblique doesn't work for me.

Let me give an example. Say I want to say
"I cut wood with an axe". This would be

 AGT.cut wood with axe TRG.I

(I'm leaving core arguments unmarked; that's also
why I want to set obliques aside in some way.)

But I already have an instrumental applicative for
verbs. I'd like to say:

 AGT.cut wood [ TRG.axe] TRG.I

("The cutter of wood, (which is) done by means of an
axe, is I"). The embedded clause would be enclosed by
two particles.

My question is: does this seem farfetched? (It does,
a bit, to me). Is this used in natlangs? Any other
ideas? Suggestions are welcome.

--Pablo Flores

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