Jurgis Pakerys

Vilnius University



Periphrastic causative constructions in Baltic. An overview



Periphrastic causatives in Latvian, Lithuanian, and Old Prussian are discussed to differentiate shared and language-specific constructions. It is shown that factitive constructions evolved independently, while the permissive ones are partly shared. One of the possible reasons for this is that the Baltic languages had a productive category of morphological factitive causatives and periphrastic factitives were less salient in the past. In contrast, permissive causation could not be expressed by morphological means and, as a result, permissive constructions reflect some common innovations. The permissives based on the predicate ‘give’ are a Baltic or even a Balto-Slavic development areally shared with the Finnic languages. Latvian and Lithuanian share two roots *lḗid- ‘release’ and *vḗl- ‘want’, which gave rise to permissive constructions, but their root ablaut or inflectional stems differ and reflect independent morphological developments. Of note is that Baltic *lḗid- is a cognate of Germanic *lēt-, which is also used in permissive constructions (German lassen, English let, etc.) and is not found in Slavic. Only Latvian has fully developed permissive use of ļaut. Baltic periphrastic factitive constructions share some common paths of semantic shifts, but the verbs employed are unrelated and these developments are probably relatively late and individual.



Keywords: periphrastic causative constructions; permissive causatives; factitive causatives; Baltic languages