'Tense' marking on Malagasy obliques and the syntax of telic events

Matthew Pearson


In Malagasy, PPs and other obliques may be prefixed with the morpheme t-. When the oblique denotes a location, instrument, etc., t- marks past tense, but when it denotes a goal, t- marks completion of the event. In this paper, I present a syntactic account of this apparently dual function in terms of scope: Goal PPs are VP-internal complements, and are thus in the scope of Aspect, which selects VP, whereas locative and instrumental PPs are external to VP, outside the scope of Aspect but within the scope of Tense.


Tense; Malagasy; Prepositional Phrase; Obliques

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