chapter  5
23 Pages

The external syntax of the Tamil indicative AVC

BySanford B. Steever

From the claim that the AVC is a verb form, it should follow that an AVC may occur in any grammatical context where a simple, nonauxiliated verb form may occur, and vice versa. Any departure from this correspondence between the distribution of AVCs and that of simple verbs would give rise to a skewing which would tend to compromise the analysis of the AVC as a verb, unless that discrepancy could be attributed to some independent grammatical principle. On the hypothesis that the AVC is itself a verb, it should occur wherever a simple, nonauxiliated verb form can occur. Yet, data below indicate some apparent departures from this proposed correlation. The distribution of simple and periphrastic verbs in Tamil is in fact skewed; there are certain contexts that readily host simple verbs but not AVCs and, conversely but less commonly, contexts that host AVCs but not simple verbs.