Serial Verb Construction vs Complex Predicates in Punjabi: An Integrated Analysis of Event Structure


  • Bisma Butt Department of English Language and Literature, University of Lahore, Gujrat Campus
  • Muhammad Ajmal Khan Department of English, GIFT University, Pakistan
  • Saqib Mahmood Department of English, GIFT University, Pakistan
  • Abdul Hamid Department of English & Foreign Languages, University of Swat, Pakistan
  • Aadila Hussain Department of English, Punjab University Gujranwala Campus, Pakistan


Complex Predicate; Indo-Aryan Language; Serial verbs, Syntax


This study aims to analyze the syntax of serial verbs in the Punjabi language. The serial verb construction (SVC) is a widespread phenomenon across the world languages and in Punjabi as well. The SVC in Punjabi specifically is used as a full event described by two sub-events, with each event described by a separate verb coming together in a sequence. It shows that two different events have their own individuality during overall event. This study is descriptive in nature and a naturalistic methodology is adopted for detailed categorization of SVC in Punjabi. The study shows how the two types of SVCs in Punjabi are completely different from Complex Predicates (CPs) because each SVC contains two VPs but only one V whereas the complex predicate constructions have only one VP but two Vs. The study also shows that the relationship between two verbs/VPs is that of adjunction but not complementation (or coordination). Since this study explores the Indo-Aryan languages which are facing the dearth of linguistic research, it is going to be a useful contribution to the domain of serial verb constructions cross-linguistically. It will also be helpful to draw a line between SVCs and CP formations in the Punjabi language.