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Case and Grammatical Functions in Imbabura Quechua: An LFG Approach

Beatriz Willgohs and Patrick Farrell


In Imbabura Quechua, accusative case occurs on core arguments that are patient-like to some degree, including patient, theme, causee, goal, and experiencer. There are double-accusative causative and transfer-ofpossession constructions that have the kind of typical asymmetrical object properties that are handled straightforwardly in Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG) by the distinction between primary object (OBJ) and secondary object (OBJ-theta). The accusative case marker can be analyzed as going on both kinds of object because it is constrained to occur on NPs with the GF feature specification [+o]. In addition, there is a desiderative construction that can have no apparent subject and the experiencer argument realized with accusative case, possibly in addition to another patient-like accusative argument. In this case, the more patient-like accusative argument behaves like an OBJ-theta and the experiencer like an OBJ in some ways and like a subject in others. In earlier analyses (Jake 1985, Hermon 1985), the experiencer is analyzed as an object at some level and a subject at another. The properties of this construction can be accounted for in LFG by analyzing the experiencer as OBJ and attributing its subject-like properties to its status as pivot (PIV) in the sense of Falk 2006.

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