A survey of a number of the world’s languages reveals that only those languages that have a transitive verb used to express possession (i.e., Have-languages) also have a transitive verb ‘need’. No Be-language lacking a transitive verb for possession has a transitive verb ‘need’. This generalization suggests a Hale and Keyser (1993, 2002)–style incorporation approach, whereby nominal ‘need’ incorporates to an unpronounced verbal HAVE, yielding transitive verbal ‘need’.

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