Yaqui and the analysis of primary object languages
Guerrero, L., & Van Valin Jr., R. D.
Yaqui and the analysis of primary object languages. International Journal of American Linguistics, 70
(3), 290-319. doi:10.1086/425603.
The central topic of this study is to investigate three- and four-place predicate in
Yaqui, which are characterized by having multiple object arguments. As with other
Southern Uto-Aztecan languages, it has been said that Yaqui follows the Primary/Secondary
Object pattern (Dryer 1986). Actually, Yaqui presents three patterns: verbs like
nenka ‘sell’ follow the direct–indirect object pattern, verbs like miika ‘give’ follow the
primary object pattern, and verbs like chijakta ‘sprinkle’ follow the locative alternation
pattern; the primary object pattern is the exclusive one found with derived verbs. This
paper shows that the contrast between direct object and primary object languages is not
absolute but rather one of degree, and hence two “object” selection principles are needed
to explain this mixed system. The two principles are not limited to Yaqui but are found
in other languages as well, including English.