Converbal constructions of malayalam

Author: 
Noufal P T

This paper on Malayalam verbal structure with respect to serial verb constructions (SVC) shows that there are two types of converbal affixes in Malayalam. One, an empty element that comes on all conjunctival participle marked verbs of an SVC. Two, an affix which is traditionally considered a perfective marker, -iTT. Data shows that there are two forms of -iTT converbal affixes, one, a bare -iTT and two, a compound with verb koL 'bear', which surfaces as koNT. The paper also shows that verbs in conjunctival participle form has a 'completive' meaning on them, leading us to the conclusion that they are the 'narrative converbs' of Malayalam. Similarly, -iTT form is recognized as 'perfective' in meaning, classifying them as 'perfective converb' markers of Malayalam. koNT converbal marker is argued as derived by adding -iTT to the koL 'bear' verb. The presence of an additional koL verb on the otherwise converbal form -iTT is justified as directly affixing onto verbs only if the SVC has a single-event reading, whereas if it has multi-event reading, then koNT is the converbal marker.

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