Experiencers vs. agents in Urdu/Hindi nominalized verbs of perception


  • Miriam Butt University of Konstanz
  • Lucrezia Carnesale University of Pavia-Bergamo
  • Tafseer Ahmed Alexa Translations


Urdu/Hindi, experiencer predicates, light verb, argument merger, mapping theory


Urdu/Hindi displays a curious construction in which a nominalized verb of perception combines with the verb ‘give’. As an  experiencer predicate, it takes a dative subject; however, there is no other instance in the language in which the subject of ‘give’ is a dative. Furthermore, the verb ‘give’ is a three-place predicate, but the N-V experiencer predicate is only two-place. We propose an analysis by which the construction originates in a ditransitive agentive N-V complex predicate whose goal argument is reanalyzed into an experiencer. We propose that the mechansim is similar to that posited by Schätzle (2018) for the rise of dative subjects in Icelandic, where an originally locative predication gave rise to experiencer predicates.