Development of verb-verb complexes in Indo-Aryan


One feature of modern Indo-Aryan [IA] languages – and South Asian languages more generally – is the employment of veRb-veRb compounds, which involve collocations of two verbs, where one (the “light” or “vector” verb) acts as a grammaticalised version of its full verb counterpart. Thus, the verb GO in many IA languages can appear as a light verb in verb-verb [VV] compounds, contributing various more functional semantic components including completion. In this chapter, I discuss the historical development and properties of VV compounds in IA, with reference to VVs in Dravidian. This includes examination of the precursors of modern Indo-Aryan verb-verb collocations, especially early examples in Sri Lankan Pali and early Sinhala.

Verb-Verb complexes in Asian languages
Benjamin Slade
Associate Professor of Linguistics