Ditransitive constructions in Kashibo-Kakataibo and the non-distinguishable objects analysis

Roberto Zariquiey Biondi

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2 Scopus citations


The present paper offers a description of ditransitive constructions in Kashibo- Kakataibo (Panoan, Peru). While doing so, this paper challenges what can be called the "non-distinguishable objects analysis", which stipulates that, in some Panoan languages, the two objects of ditransitive constructions cannot be syntactically distinguished. I not only argue that this analysis cannot be applied to Kashibo-Kakataibo, but also that it invokes important methodological problems. In contrast, this paper argues for a constructional approach, which looks at different grammatical properties independently. This approach allows us to explain the distribution of alignments found in Kashibo-Kakataibo's ditransitive constructions: the neutral alignment type dominates according to a principle of coding-behavior harmony, while the indirective alignment type is limited to reflexive constructions, which have an intrinsic bias to T-based constructions. This constructional approach can also be applied to other Panoan languages and, therefore, offers a solid comparative basis for future studies on ditransitive constructions from a Panoan perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)882-905
Number of pages24
JournalStudies in Language
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Ditransitive constructions
  • Double-object constructions
  • Kashibo-Kakataibo
  • Panoan


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