French Studies Publications

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2017


Malagasy is a language with non-culminating accomplishments. There is, however, a specific prefix (maha-), which appears to entail culmination. Moreover, verbs prefixed with maha- display a range of interpretations: causative, abilitive, ‘manage to’, and unintentionality. This paper accounts for these two aspects of this prefix with a unified semantic analysis. In particular, maha- encodes double prevention, as proposed by Wolff (2007, 2014) for English predicates like enable. The double prevention configuration is associated with a circumstantial modal base, which leads to culminating readings in the past and future. As such, this paper supports a more fine-grained theory of causation.