Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale > 56 | 2020 > Atypical Compound Verb Constructions in Hindi/Urdu

Atypical Compound Verb Constructions in Hindi/Urdu

The Case of Transitive Polar Verbs with Intransitive Vector Verbs

Andrea Drocco    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    

Neha Tiwari    Independent Scholar    



While a lot of research has already been done on defining compound verb constructions and understanding their semantic and pragmatic usages, there is still a gap when it comes to our understanding of atypical compound verb constructions where transitive polar verbs are paired with intransitive vector verbs and vice versa. In this paper we focus on atypical constructions with two intransitive vector verbs: jānā and baiṭhnā. We collate and review the different meanings that scholars have ascribed to these constructions and present our own analysis. We conclude that the main reason behind using an intransitive vector verb with a transitive polar verb is to reduce the transitivity of the action by implying reduced agency on the part of the Agent-like argument of the sentence. In addition to that, the use of an intransitive vector verb with a transitive polar verb also tells us which argument in the sentence is affected by the action from the point of view of the speaker. However, sometimes atypical constructions are also used by the speaker to express his/her shock or astonishment over a particular event, thus imposing his/her own ideas about agency, volitionality, and affectedness on the action being observed.

June 30, 2020
June 1, 2020
Feb. 11, 2020

Keywords: Involuntary agentHindiTransitivityUrdu

Copyright: © 2020 Andrea Drocco, Neha Tiwari. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.