The benefactive construction in South Efate employs a prepositional phrase in the position immediately preceding the main verb. This position facilitates the expression of an additional participant in a sentence without competing for slots held by other participants (core arguments or adjuncts). Possessive morphology encoding the benefactive has been noted for other Oceanic languages, with distinct word-order marking a final stage of grammaticalization of the benefactive. While South Efate shares features with southern Vanuatu languages, it is shown that a preverbal benefactive is an areal feature of several languages to the north of South Efate, potentially supporting South Efate's position in the Central Vanuatu subgroup.
Oceanic Linguistics – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 24, 2006